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Friday June 21, 2024

No Muslim minister in Narendra Modi's newly-elected govt

Indian prime minister's new-elected government includes 30 federal ministers and 41 state ministers

By Web Desk
June 10, 2024
BJP leader Narendra Modi takes the oath of office for a third term as the country´s premier during the oath-taking ceremony in New Delhi on June 9, 2024. — AFP
BJP leader Narendra Modi takes the oath of office for a third term as the country´s premier during the oath-taking ceremony in New Delhi on June 9, 2024. — AFP

Around 14.2% of India's total population is Muslim, but not a single Muslim minister has been included in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, as he took oath for a third term as the country's premier on Sunday.

As per reports from Indian media, Modi's new government includes 30 federal ministers and 41 state ministers, which does not include a single Muslim.

This is the first time in Indian history that no Muslim parliamentary member has taken oath after the elections. Usually, the council of ministers sworn in after every general election would have at least one Muslim MP in it.

The absence of Muslim representation in the 18th Lok Sabha is reportedly due to the fact that no Muslim MPs from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) were elected.

Out of the 24 MPs elected to the lower house, 21 are from the INDIA bloc. And three are from All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.

The first meeting of the cabinet of the new central government of India will be held this evening, in which the cabinet will request the Indian President Droupadi Murmu to convene the parliamentary session soon.

In a shocking outcome, Modi this time did not win a clear majority as compared to his previous two times with the premier having to seek support from allies under the banner of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to retain power.

The outcome is seen as a big setback to the popular leader as surveys and exit polls had predicted BJP would secure even more seats than in 2019.

A day earlier, President Murmu administered the oath of office to Modi during a grand ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the president's palace in New Delhi, attended by thousands of dignitaries, including the leaders of seven regional countries, Bollywood stars and industrialists.

Modi, who started as a publicist of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of his BJP, is only the second person after independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru to serve a third straight term as prime minister.

Modi, whose election campaign was marked by religious rhetoric and criticism of the opposition for allegedly favouring India's 200 million minority Muslims, has adopted a more conciliatory tone since the shock result.

"We have won the majority ... but to run the country it is unanimity that is crucial ... we will strive for unanimity," he said on Friday after the NDA formally named him coalition head.