Modi takes charge as 15th PM; 44 ministers sworn in

Narendra Modi was sworn in as India's 15thPrime Minister (including acting prime minister Gulzarilal Nanda in the mid-'60s) at a grand ceremony attended by approximately 4,000 guests, including heads of state, representatives and envoys of foreign countries attending in large numbers, at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Narendra Modi All 777 MPs of both Houses, the outgoing PM and his council of ministers, all governors, CMs (except Kerala CM who had already opted out), ambassadors and other constitutional authorities like the Chief Justice of India are among those who attended the event.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi also attended the function.

Heads of governments of eight countries, including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Maurituis Prime Minister Naveen Ramgoolam took part in the ceremony.

Bangladesh Parliament Speaker Shirin Chaudhury represented her country as Premier Sheikh Hasina was on a visit to Japan. This is the first time that the heads of states of SAARC nations have been invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony of an Indian prime minister.

Speaking to reporters in Lahore before leaving for New Delhi, the Pakistan prime minister said, ''Pakistan wants good relations with India and I am going to New Delhi with a message of peace''.

Envoys of almost all the countries having embassies in Delhi have been invited for the function.

The BJP Overseas Affairs, an arm of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that maintains contact with people and political parties abroad, has also invited around 90 people to the swearing-in.

Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Baba Ramdev, celebrities such as Rajinikanth, Lata Mangeshkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Pawan Kalyan, Suresh Gopi are also among the guests.

India Inc was also represented in strength with Anil Ambani, Gautam Adani, Sunil Mittal, Prashant Ruia, Pawan Munjal, Ajay Sriram, Hari Bhartia and AM Naik attending the grand celebration.

Admen Piyush Pandey and Prasoon Joshi and over 300 media persons also witnessed the swearing-in ceremony.

A cursory look at this list shows Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra have got a significant chunk of ministries. This may also be due to the assembly elections due in these states later this year.

Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat are seriously under-represented- despite the massive mandate they gave the BJP.

BJP's NDA allies are also minimally represented, with Shiv Sena, LJP, TDP and Akali Dal being given one cabinet post each.

Some senior party leaders, including Amit Shah, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Rajiv Pratap Rudy, did not make it to the list as they have been tasked with carrying on party work ahead of the assembly elections in some crucial states like Maharashtra and Haryana later this year.

There are also no surprises, as earlier expected, in terms of many new faces; instead some exclusions like those of Arun Shourie and Suresh Prabhu, for example, were pronounced. Prabhu, a senior Sena member, is not a favourite of the Thackerays of the Shiv Sena.

It is also not clear how, since many of the small ministries will be merged to create more synergies, who will handle these portfolios and how it will be allocated to ministers of state.

After all, Modi is not all BJP and the party cannot get rid of all old faces without losing credibility. However, since all of them owe their positions to Modi, the prime minister, unlike in the UPA ministry will have a decisive say in how they run their ministries.

Sources say Modi will expand his cabinet a few months later.

Meanwhile, massive ground-to-air security arrangements on the lines of Republic Day have been made for Narendra Modi's swearing-in. The area around Rashtrapati Bhavan and other areas in Lutyen's Delhi have been turned into a fortress with over 7,000 personnel of special commandos and paramilitary forces along with the Delhi Police on duty.

Two unmanned aerial vehicles 'drones' hovered over the Rashtrapati Bhavan accompanied by anti-aircraft guns on ground, with the Army and the Air Force as also the intelligence agencies assisting the Delhi Police.

President Pranab Mukherjee is hosting a private dinner for SAARC leaders and Modi and his council of ministers in the Grey Room of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The council of ministers

Besides the Prime Minister, the council of ministers has 23 cabinet ministers, 10 ministers of state (independent charge) and 11 ministers of state. Some of the portfolios are yet to be announced.

Cabinet ministers
01
Shri Raj Nath Singh Home Affairs
02
Smt. Sushma Swaraj External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs
03
Shri Arun Jaitley Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence
04
Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs
05
Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari Road Transport and Highways Shipping
06
Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda Railways
07
Sushri Uma Bharati Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
08
Dr. Najma A. Heptulla Minority Affairs
09
Shri Gopinathrao Munde Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation
10
Shri Ramvilas Paswan Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
11
Shri Kalraj Mishra Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
12
Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Women and Child Development
13
Shri Ananthkumar Chemicals and Fertilizers
14
Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad Communications and Information Technology, Law and Justice
15
Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati Civil Aviation
16
Shri Anant Geete Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
17
Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal Food Processing Industries
18
Shri Narendra Singh Tomar Mines, Steel and Labour and Employment
19
Shri Jual Oram Tribal Affairs
20
Shri Radha Mohan Singh Agriculture
21
Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot Social Justice and Empowerment
22
Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani Human Resource Development
23
Dr. Harsh Vardhan Health and Family Welfare

Ministers of state (Independent charge)
01
General V.K. Singh Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge), External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs
02
Shri Inderjit Singh Rao Planning (Independent Charge), Statistics and Programme Implementation (Independent Charge) and Defence
03
Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar Textiles (Independent Charge), Parliamentary Affairs, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
04
Shri Shripad Yesso Naik Culture (Independent Charge) and Tourism (Independent Charge)
05
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge)
06
Shri Sarbananda Sonowal Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge)
07
Shri Prakash Javadekar Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge), Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs
08
Shri Piyush Goyal Power (Independent Charge), Coal (Independent Charge) and New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge)
09
Dr. Jitendra Singh Science and Technology (Independent Charge), Earth Sciences (Independent Charge), Prime Minister Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space
10
Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman

Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge), Finance and Corporate Affairs

11
Shri G.M. Siddeshwara Civil Aviation
12
Shri Manoj Sinha Railways
13
Shri Nihalchand Chemicals and Fertilizers
14
Shri Upendra Kushwaha Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation
15
Shri Radhakrishnan P Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
16
Shri Kiren Rijiju Home Affairs
17
Shri Krishan Pal Road Transport and Highways and Shipping
18
Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan Agriculture and Food Processing Industries
19
Shri Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava Tribal Affairs
20
Shri Raosaheb Dadarao Danve Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
21
Shri Vishnu Deo Sai Mines, Steel, Labour and Employment
22
Shri Sudarshan Bhagat Social Justice and Empowerment