Narendra Modi takes oath as new PM, Arun Jaitley may head finance

BJP leader Narendra Modi took oath as India's 15th Prime Minister along with 45 ministers, one of the slimmest governments in decades, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday. The Modi-led government includes 23 cabinet ministers and 22 ministers of state including 10 with independent charge of their ministries.

Although the portfolios of the key ministries were not officially disclosed, BJP president Rajnath Singh is said to become new home minister while Sushma Swaraj is to be named as the external affairs minister with Arun Jaitley tipped to head finance. Jaitley, who failed to win his seat in the Lok Sabha election, has been given an additional charge of ministry of defence.

Some of the other key economic portfolios may be held by Nitin Gadkari (transport), Ravi Shankar Prasad (law and telecom), Dharmendra Pradhan (oil), Nirmala Sitharaman (commerce), Piyush Goyal (power and coal), Sarbananda Sonowal (railways), Ananthkumar (chemical and fertiliser) and Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati (civil aviation).

Other cabinet ministers include names like M Venkaiah Naidu, Uma Bharti, Najma Heptullah, Gopinath Munde, Ramvilas Paswan, Kalraj Mishra, Maneka Gandhi, Harsimrat Badal, Narendra Singh Tomar, Jual Oram, Radha Mohan Singh, Thawar Chand Gehlot, DV Sadananda Gowda, Anant Geete, Smriti Irani and Harsh Vardhan.

After swearing in, Modi promised to forge a "strong and inclusive" India. “As we devote ourselves to take India's development journey to newer heights, we seek your support, blessings and active participation. Let us together dream of a strong, developed and inclusive India that actively engages with the global community to strengthen the cause of world peace and development," Modi said.

Former army chief V K Singh, Rao Inderjit Singh, Prakash Javadekar, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Shripad Naik, Jitendra Singh, Manoj Sinha, G M Siddeshwara, Upendra Kushwaha, P Radhakrishan, Kiren Rijiju, Sanjeev Baliyan, Vishnu Dev Rai, Sudarshan Bhagat, Vishnu Deo Sai, Raosaheb Dadarao Patil, Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai and Krishan Pal Gujjar are the other members of the ministerial team.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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