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Thursday July 18, 2024

Top ministers retain their portfolios in Modi’s third govt

Amit Shah (home affairs), Rajnath Singh (defence), S. Jaishankar (external affairs) and Nirmala Sitharaman (finance)

By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
June 14, 2024
Modi govt 3.0: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs his first Union Cabinet meeting at the start of his third term, in New Delhi on Monday. — ANI
Modi govt 3.0: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs his first Union Cabinet meeting at the start of his third term, in New Delhi on Monday. — ANI

ISLAMABAD: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has retained his National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval for his third stint in office. He will continue to avail rank of cabinet minister in the government.

Doval was director of the Intelligence Bureau, India’s domestic intelligence wing, till 2005 and has been national security adviser since 2014. He is also reportedly the first policeman to have received the Kirti Chakra, India’s second-highest peacetime gallantry award.

Former IAS officer P K Mishra has been re-appointed as the principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Some describe Mishra – who was appointed principal secretary to Gujarat chief minister Modi’s office in 2001 – as Modi’s “most trusted bureaucratic aide”.

Modi took oath as prime minister for the third time on Sunday, with his NDA bloc having won the general election. Many ministers retained their portfolios on Monday, including those generally in the cabinet committee on security: Amit Shah (retaining home affairs), Rajnath Singh (defence), S. Jaishankar (external affairs) and Nirmala Sitharaman (finance).

The distribution of portfolios made it clear the top ministries will remain with the BJP, despite the fact that it has to rely on its NDA allies to govern. However, its allies have been accommodated with some key ministries.

In another development, Ajit Doval and other officials attended a meeting chaired by Modi on Thursday, who also spoke to Home Minister Amit Shah and discussed the deployment of security forces and counter-terror operations in Occupied Kashmir, Indian government sources said.

They said Modi spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha as well and took stock of the situation in the territory. Sinha briefed him on the efforts being undertaken by the local administration.