New Delhi [India], July 7 (ANI): Narayan Rane, BJP Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra, took oath as Union Minister on Wednesday evening.
Swearing-in ceremony of new ministers as part of first Union Cabinet expansion, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to power for a second term in May 2019, is underway.
President Ram Nath Kovind is administering the oath of office and secrecy to new members of the Council of Ministers at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The 69-year-old leader is serving his first term as Rajya Sabha MP. The former Maharashtra chief minister has earlier been a six-time MLA and one-time Member Legislative Council in Maharashtra. He has served as state Cabinet Minister and handled important portfolios like Industries, Revenue, Ports & Animal Husbandry.
He has been serving the public in elected offices across different capacities for over 35 years.
Before that, he served in the Income Tax Department from 1971 to 1984.
As many as 43 leaders is taking oath in the first Union Cabinet reshuffle and expansion on Wednesday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to power for a second term in May, 2019, according to sources.
Ahead of Union Cabinet reshuffle and expansion, 12 Union Ministers including Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Prakash Javadekar and D.V. Sadananda Gowda have resigned from their posts of Council of Ministers.
President Ram Nath Kovind, as advised by the Prime Minister, has accepted the resignation of 12 ministers.
According to a release by the President's Office, among 12 ministers who resigned include Thaawarchand Gehlot, Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Babul Supriyo, Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao, Rattan Lal Kataria, Pratap Chandra Sarangi and Sushri Debasree Chaudhuri.
It is learnt from reliable sources that post-expansion, there will be 12 members from the SC community, including two in the cabinet; eight members will be from Scheduled Tribes in the Council of Ministers out of which three will be in the cabinet.
After cabinet expansion, the Modi government is expected to have 27 OBC leaders, out of which five will be in the cabinet.
Sources further informed that there will be a substantial increase in the number of professionals in the cabinet.
"Post expansion there will be 13 lawyers, six doctors, five engineers, and seven civil servants in total," the sources said.
As reported by ANI yesterday, there will be a special focus on bringing down the average age of the Modi cabinet, post-expansion there will be 14 ministers below the age of 50, and six will be in the cabinet. (ANI)