Union Cabinet Reshuffle: 9 new Ministers to take oath

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The 65-year-old, who took oath as a Minister of State, has served as India's Ambassador to the United Nations in NY and Geneva, and with his decades of diplomatic experience, his presence in the Council would be a rarity.

The presence of such a significant number of civil servants and ex-Armymen is seen as the PM's push to get projects implemented in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.

Nine new faces including bureaucrat-turned-politician Alphons Kannanthanam, former IFS officer Hardeep Puri and ex-Mumbai Police chief Satyapal Singh will be inducted into the Union Council of Ministers today as part of a major revamp by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The strength of the council of ministers after Sunday's expansion now stands at 76. They are apolitical people and not elected members of Parliament.

The other three ministers from bureaucratic or military background are former Army chief V K Singh, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Arjun Ram Meghwal, a former IAS officer from Rajasthan. Former Olympian trap shooter Rathore is MoS with independent charge of Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry.

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The ministry is now in charge of several key urban and housing policies such as the Smart City Mission, AMRUT, Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), the Metro policy, and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for providing housing for all.

Raj Kumar Singh, MoS (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, is a former Union home secretary.

He quit the service ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to take the electoral plunge.

The ministers who have already resigned include two cabinet ministers-Kalraj Mishra and Uma Bharti -and five ministers of state- Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who held independent charge of skill development ministry, Sanjeev Balyan, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Mahendra Nath Pandey, and Giriraj Singh.

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