New Delhi: 19 MPs joined the government in the second expansion and reshuffle by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in little over two years since he took over in May 2014 which saw a number a Dalit and OBC leaders being given ministerial positions.
Three MPs from Uttar Pradesh – Mahendra Nath Pandey, Krishna Raj, and Anupriya Singh Patel, elected from Mirzapur, were made ministers. UP goes to polls early next year.
P P Chaudhary, Vijay Goel, who hails from Delhi, Arjun Ram Meghwal and C R Chaudhary, all MPs from Rajasthan, joined the government.
Three faces from Gujarat – Mansukh Mandaviya, Purushottam Rupala and Jaswant Sinh Bhabhor – which goes to polls next year, also got ministerial berths.
Madhya Pradesh MPs – Anil Madhav Dave (Indore), Faggan Kulaste from Mandla and journalist-turned-politician M J Akbar also became ministers.
With an eye on Uttarakhand polls, a Dalit leader from Almora Ajay Tamta was inducted into the Council of Ministers.
Ramdas Athalwale, who is the leader of Republican Party of India (RPI-A), an ally of BJP, also joined the government.
MPs from other states like S S Ahluwalia from Darjeeling in West Bengal, Ramesh Jigajinagi from Bijapur in Karnataka and Rajan Gohain from Nowgong in Assam also became ministers.
All barring Vijay Goel and Faggan Kulaste are new faces while a few have been ministers in BJP-ruled state governments.
The MPs were sworn in as ministers by President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhawan.