Modi's New Cabinet: Smriti Irani, Anurag Thakur, Arjun Munda among 37 dropped

The 72-member council of ministers—Narenda Modi's largest in three terms—includes only five representatives from minority communities, and no Muslims

Modi cabinet 3.0 in the new NDA government of 2024 (photo: @PrakashJavdekar/X)
Modi cabinet 3.0 in the new NDA government of 2024 (photo: @PrakashJavdekar/X)

NH Political Bureau

In a significant reshuffle, Narendra Modi's third cabinet as part of the new NDA government has excluded several prominent former ministers—including Smriti Irani, Anurag Thakur, and Arjun Munda. A total of 37 ministers from the previous administration have been dropped.

Smriti Irani, whom Kishori Lal Sharma of the Indian National Congress defeated in Amethi, has been excluded from the new cabinet after having served under Modi for the entire last decade—including as minister of minority affairs most recently, the very first non-Muslim MP to hold the post.

Similarly, Anurag Thakur, another notable figure from the previous Modi administration, has failed to secure a position in the new NDA cabinet.

More than half of the 71 ministers from the previous NDA government have been left out of the new council of ministers. Specifically, seven cabinet ministers and 30 ministers of state have not been included.

The previous union council of ministers comprised 26 cabinet ministers, three ministers of state with independent charges and 42 other ministers of state.

In the new Modi government, the 72-member council of ministers has only five representatives from minority communities. While this is a slight improvement compared to 2019, when there were just four minority representatives across various reshuffles — including Harsimrat Badal, who exited the NDA in September 2020 — it must be noted that this is a bigger council, making this a smaller percentage than in 2019 (which started with only 57 members)

Notably, the cabinet most media houses are dubbing 'Modi 3.0' — despite this being an NDA government and not one with a clear BJP majority in the Lower House — does not include a single Muslim representative.

This is a first.

Even in 2014 and 2019, we had at least one token Muslim MP — Najma Heptulla and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi were both ministers of minority affairs, respectively, until Smriti Irani took over in 2022. (Naqvi, who was a Rajya Sabha MP, was not re-elected after his term ended in 2022.)

Meanwhile, 33 new faces have been included in this new cabinet — which is also much larger than the original 45-member council of 2014, when Modi's slogan used to be 'minimum government, maximum governance'. Now, it appears, there is strength needed in numbers — an effect of insecurity around the integrity of the NDA's internal bonds and uncertainty of the allies' mutual support, perhaps?

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines