WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India
May 31, 2019, 01.11 PM
BJP president Amit Shah, who took oath as a minister on Thursday, has been made the new Home Minister of the country. The portfolio was earlier handled by Rajnath Singh, who has been moved to Defence.
Shah won the Lok Sabha polls from Gandhinagar in Gujarat defeating Congress's J Chavda by a record margin of more than five lakh votes. He is the most notable inclusion in the government and will serve at the Centre for the first time as a minister.
"Thankful to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji for reposing faith in me. Your leadership and continued support is a great source of inspiration. I assure you that I will put my best efforts to serve our people and country," he tweeted after taking oath on Thursday.
Thankful to Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji for reposing faith in me. Your leadership and continued support is a great source of inspiration. I assure you that I will put my best efforts to serve our people and country. pic.twitter.com/ZDLgv5w4Fw
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi's right-hand man and long-time strategist, Shah would be in a powerful position as the country's home minister. He masterminded the BJP's landslide victory in the April-May general election in which the party won 303 of the 542 seats and is able to make the government on its own.
Shah has worked as Minister of State for Home Affairs in Gujarat when Modi was the chief minister of the state.
The first meeting of the new Union Cabinet will take place on Friday at 5:30 pm, a government official said.
The Union Cabinet for the 17th Lok Sabha includes 24 Cabinet ministers, nine Ministers of State with independent charge and 24 Ministers of State (MoS).
Top leaders who were sworn in as Cabinet ministers include Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, DV Sadananda Gowda, Nirmala Sitharaman, Ram Vilas Paswan and former foreign secretary S Jaishankar, a surprise pick.
Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Sadanand Gowda and representatives of BJP allies - Ram Vilas Paswan (LJSP), Harsimrat Kaur (Akali Dal), Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) and Ramdas Athawale (RPI-A) who will be a Minister of State (MoS) also took oath.
Some of the key ministers in the previous Modi government, including Sushma Swaraj, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Maneka Gandhi, are not a part of the new Council of Ministers, while former finance minister Arun Jaitley opted out of the new Cabinet citing health reasons.
The first meeting of the new Union Cabinet will take place on Friday at 5:30 pm.