3.0 Begins

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, India has solidified its status as a prominent global player, distinguished not only by its position as the world’s most populous nation but also by its stature as the fifth-largest economy, which is growing at one of the fastest rates internationally. India’s successful lunar landing last year has cemented its role as a formal space power, underscoring its advanced technological capabilities and aspirations in space exploration. Modi’s vision for India extends beyond these impressive achievements, as he is determined to leverage them to propel India further up the global power hierarchy. This ambition has been a consistent theme since his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) first articulated it in their 2014 election manifesto, which promised to build “a strong, self-reliant, self-confident India, regaining its rightful place in the comity of nations. Zahid wani Reports

Kashmir Magazine

Modi took his oath, saying he would “do right to all manner of people without affection or ill-will”. Modi’s BJP-led National Democratic Alliance won the general election with 293 seats, a much lower margin than predicted by exit polls.
The election saw a resurgence of India’s opposition, which won 234 seats.
Thousands of guests attended his inauguration at Delhi’s presidential palace. Among them were the heads of neighbouring Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Speaking as he was sworn in by President Draupadi Murmu, Modi said he would uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India and govern with “true faith and allegiance to the constitution”. He said: “I will do right to all manner of people in accordance with the constitution and the law without fear or favour.”
A council of ministers of Modi’s new cabinet were also sworn in during the ceremony. Modi, 73, is only the second Indian leader to win a third consecutive term after the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
Exit polls had projected outright victory for his BJP party, which ruled India for a decade, but it lost its parliamentary majority in the general election.
His NDA bloc relied on two key allies, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Janata Dal (United) JD(U), to cross the 272-seat mark needed to form the government. On Friday, the elected MPs voted Modi as the leader of the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the parliament), leader of the BJP parliamentary party, and leader of the NDA.
Narendra Modi, along with 72 ministers, took oath for a third consecutive term as the Prime Minister of India on Sunday in a mega event at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Since 2014, this will be the first time that the BJP won’t be enjoying full majority in the Lok Sabha.
The new Council of Ministers will comprise 11 ministers belonging to NDA allies. The Modi Cabinet 3.0 will comprise 30 Cabinet Ministers, 5 Ministers of State with Independent Charge and 36 Ministers of State.
The new Cabinet includes 33 first-time Union Ministers including Chirag Paswan from Bihar, Suresh Gopi from Kerala, Bandi Sanjay Kumar from Telangana, former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Shiv Sena’s Prataprao Jadhav from Maharashtra.
Other first-timers include George Kurian (Kerala), Murlidhar Mohol (Maharashtra), Raksha Khadse (Maharashtra), Sukanta Majumdar (West Bengal), CR Paatil (Gujarat) and V Somanna (Karnataka). Chirag Paswan, The firebrand leader from Bihar was among the many first-timers to take the oath of office in PM Modi’s Cabinet on Sunday. Elected from the Hajipur Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar, Paswan secured over 6.14 lakh votes and defeated his closest rival by a margin of more than 1.7 lakh votes. Suresh Gopi, the actor-turned-politician is the first BJP Lok Sabha MP from Kerala to join PM Modi’s Council of Ministers. In a fierce three-cornered contest in Thrissur, Gopi defeated CPI’s VS Sunil Kumar by a margin of more than 74,000 votes. Congress’ K Muraleedharan was also in the electoral fray. George Kurian, known for his no-nonsense style of functioning, is another surprise entry into the Council of Ministers. A lawyer by profession, he has worked in almost all the key positions of the BJP’s Kerala wing such as national vice president of the Yuva Morcha, Minority Morcha and National Council member of the saffron party. He has also translated key rallies by PM Modi and other senior ministers in the state many times. Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar weathered political storms and unhappiness within the party to becoming a first-time Union Minister in PM Modi’s Council of Ministers. In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, he won from the Karimnagar constituency by a margin of over 2.25 lakh votes. The TDP MP from Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam is one of the youngest ministers in the Modi Cabinet 3.0. Son of former union minister and TDP leader K Yerran Naidu, he has worked as the national general secretary of the regional satrap during trying times such as Chandrababu Naidu’s arrest in the alleged skill development case.
He won from the Srikakulam Lok Sabha seat with a margin of over 3.27 lakh votes. Kinjarapu Ram Mohan Naidu was one of the first MPs to advocate for menstrual health education and sex education in Parliament. He also campaigned for the removal of GST on sanitary pads. The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and BJP veteran was among the first 5 ministers sworn in after PM Modi’s oath. Fondly called ‘Mama’ and ‘Bhaiyya’ by the people, Chouhan is the longest-serving chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.
In December last year after roughly 17 years and four terms as Madhya Pradesh CM, Chouhan resigned and made way for Dr Mohan Yadav. He contested the Lok Sabha polls from Vidisha and defeated Congress’ Pratabhanu Sharma by over 8 lakh votes. The two-time Karnataka CM and five-time Janata Dal (Secular) MLA bagged a seat in the Union Council of Ministers by aligning with the BJP. The 64-year-old Vokkaliga leader, who won from the Mandya Lok Sabha seat with a margin of over 2.84 lakh votes, is eyeing the agriculture ministry in the Central government. Son of JD(S) scion and former PM HD Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy is known for farmer friendly and pro rural policies like farm loan waiver and outreach to rural folk with ‘gram vastavya’ project under which he stayed in villages to understand their problems during his stint as CM.TDP’s Dr Pemmasani Chandrasekhar is the richest Lok Sabha MP named in Modi Cabinet 3.0. A first-time MP from Guntur, Chandrasekhar has assets worth more than Rs 5,700 crore. He defeated his rival YSR Congress’ Kilari Venkata Rosaiah by a margin of over 3.4 lakh votes in the 2024 general elections. A four-time MP from Maharashtra’s Buldhana, the Shiv Sena veteran was yet another surprise entry in Modi Cabinet 3.0. When the Shiv Sena split, Jadhav remained with chief minister Eknath Shinde and contested in Buldhana against Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Narendra Dagdu Khedekar. In the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections, Jadhav defeated Khedekar by a margin of over 29,000 votes.

Portfolio allocation: continuity, promise of stability

Continuity, stability and a little bit of change. This captures what the portfolio allocation exercise of PM Narendra Modi has been all about. As expected, the top ministers didn’t change. So, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, S Jaishankar will continue doing what they have. No surprises here as the PM was insistent on the fact that the 100 days and beyond agenda of the government must go ahead; it must surge and changing the team here could mean a delay.
It’s the other changes which are an interesting mix. Take Shivraj Singh Chouhan, or mamaji, as he is called. He has been given the ministries of agriculture and farmer welfare, and rural development. One of the biggest challenges for the former CM of Madhya Pradesh will be to figure out whether the farm laws which were shelved can be brought back in a new form.
More than that, it needs reaching out, placating the ruffled feathers. Shivraj is known to have a flair with this. In fact, one of the success stories of the MP polls was the loan waiver drive of his government ahead of the state polls where he waived over Rs 2,200 crore. However, getting the farm laws back may not be easy. Though, it is significant that the first decision taken by the PM was related to benefits for farmers.

The interesting takeaway is also that contrary to the belief, the portfolio is not skewed in favour of the allies. Dr Manmohan Singh in his second term had to buckle under ally pressure and was forced to admit TR Baalu in his cabinet, contrary to his wishes. Modi has done no such thing. Like, the railways have not gone to the JD(U). It remains with Ashwani Vaishnav. Instead, Lallan Singh has been given Panchayati Raj ministry, which the PM thinks could be handy for Bihar polls. Civil aviation is being held by the TDP, which has been in charge of this ministry earlier too.
These calls couldn’t have been taken minus the support of the allies. The fact that the Modi stamp is intact shows that the Prime Minister has taken the first big step towards a government of consensus and yet sends out a message that he will be the boss and that allies cannot arm twist him.
But some choices are interesting. Like choosing Kiren Rijiju as the parliamentary affairs minister. With the opposition getting good numbers, they are bound to be belligerent. Usually a senior is made the parliamentary affairs minister; one who knows how to be both combative and conciliatory. Will Rijiju be able to do this job? Will the opposition listen to him?
To sum up, the Modi 3.0 cabinet is a clear attempt to reassure the global players as well as the markets and people of India that there will be stability. It is an attempt to show that it’s very much Modi in action.

PMO should be people’s office, not Modi’s

Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally re-assumed office for a third term on June 10 and addressed officials at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in South Block, giving out a message that his office should be the “people’s PMO and cannot be Modi’s PMO”.
“Ten years ago, the image in our country was that the PMO is a power centre, a very big power centre and I was not born for power. I do not think of acquiring power. For me, it is neither my wish nor my path that the the PMO should become a power centre. The steps we have taken since 2014, we have tried to develop it as a catalytic agent,” he said.
“Our aim is to keep generating new energy from here that provides new light to the whole system...PMO should be people’s PMO and it cannot be Modi’s PMO,” he added.
The Prime Minister said he is dedicated to the welfare of 140 crore citizens. “Together we have just one goal – Nation First; just one intention – 2047 Viksit Bharat. I have said this publically, mera pal pal desh ke naam hai [Every minute of mine is dedicated to the nation]. I have also promised the country – 24X7 for 2047. I have such expectations from the team... fulfilling the task on time is a good thing, not complete, I still want to look for value addition...if we work with this aim, I am fully aware that we can fulfil our dreams and aspirations,” he said.
“We are not the people for whom office starts at this time and ends at this time...we are not bound by time, we have no limits to our thinking.... Those who are beyond this are my team and the country trusts that team,” he added.

“Committed to Kisan Kalyan”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first action after being sworn in for his third term was to sign a file authorising the release of the 17th installment of the PM Kisan Nidhi.
This initiative will benefit 9.3 crore farmers, distributing approximately Rs 20,000 crore.
Prime Minister Modi, emphasizing the government’s focus on agriculture, remarked, “Ours is a Government fully committed to Kisan Kalyan. It is therefore fitting that the first file signed on taking charge is related to farmer welfare. We want to keep working even more for the farmers and the agriculture sector in the times to come.”
The govt, in its first Cabinet meeting chaired by PM Modi on Monday, approved the proposal to provide financial assistance to construct three crore rural and urban houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). The plan would entail an investment of around Rs 5 lakh crore, sources said.
TOI has learned that under the urban component of PMAY, govt will provide Rs 2 lakh to each beneficiary household for constructing dwelling units or as interest subsidy.
Interestingly, the govt’s proposal to expand the scheme comes a few years after the housing and urban affairs ministry had brought down the original target from 1.2 crore to approximately 1.1 crore.
According to the plan for rural areas, each beneficiary will receive a higher financial assistance from govt, sources said. Currently, such households receive up to Rs 1.2 lakh in the plains and Rs 1.3 lakh in hilly states, difficult areas, and tribal and backward districts.
“A boost for ‘Ease of Living’ and dignity for crores of Indians! The Cabinet has decided to further expand the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and construct 3 crore additional rural and urban houses. This decision underscores the government’s commitment to addressing the housing needs of our nation and ensuring that every citizen leads a better quality of life. The expansion of PMAY also highlights our government’s commitment to inclusive growth and social welfare,” Modi tweeted on Monday evening.

In his last Independence Day speech, Modi had announced the roll out of a scheme that will benefit families that live in cities but are living in rented houses, slums, chawls and unauthorised colonies. He had said that if such people want to build their own houses, the govt will assist them with relief in interest rates and loans from banks.
Even in his election campaign, PM had announced his govt’s plan to move ahead with expanding the scheme, something that was also part of BJP’s election manifesto.
The Centre has been implementing PMAY since 2015-16 and so far 4.2 crore houses have been completed. PMAY is a flagship scheme of the Modi govt and meant to be part of the initiative for housing for all. In the past PMAY has been dovetailed with other central and state govt programmes to provide basic amenities such as household toilets, LPG connection, electricity connection, functional household tap connection as part of the “ease of living” drive.
After taking office in 2014, the Modi govt had announced the setting up a special investigation team on black money to clean up the economy. On the first day of the second term, the Modi govt had extended PM-Kisan to all 14.5 crore farmers and also introduced a pension scheme for farmers, small traders and self-employed.
The 72-member council of ministers in the third Narendra Modi government has seven women, including two with cabinet rank. This is four less than the outgoing council of ministers.
Nirmala Sitharaman and Annpurna Devi were sworn in as cabinet ministers in the grand ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan last evening.
While Ms Sitharaman, a Rajya Sabha MP, has earlier held big ticket portfolios such as finance and defence, two-time Koderma MP Annpurna Devi has been promoted from the minister of state rank to a cabinet minister position. She was the junior minister for education in the outgoing government.
The other women sworn in as ministers yesterday are Anupriya Patel, Raksha Khadse, Savitri Thakur, Shobha Karandlaje and Nimuben Bambhaniya.
Anupriya Patel is the chief of Apna Dal (Sonelal), an ally of the BJP. She was minister of state for health and family welfare in the first Narendra Modi government, and was named the junior minister for commerce and industry in Modi 2.0. Her party’s Lok Sabha seat tally dropped from two to one in this election.
Thirty-seven-year-old Raksha Khadse is the daughter-in-law of veteran Maharashtra politician Eknath Khadse. A three-time MP from Raver, Ms Khadse has earlier worked as a sarpanch and a member of the Zila Parishad.
Another first-time minister to make it to Modi 3.0 is Savitri Thakur, a two-time MP from Dhar. She won the 2014 election, but did not get a poll pass in the 2019 polls. In 2024, she came back strongly to win the seat by a margin of over 2 lakh votes. Ms Thakur, too, has extensive experience of working at the panchayat level.
Shobha Karandlaje, a two-time BJP MP from Karnataka who has earlier served as a state minister, is among the ministers in the second Narendra Modi government who have been retained in Modi 3.0. She has earlier held portfolios of food processing industries and agriculture and farmers’ welfare in the Union government.
Fifty-seven-year-old Nimuben Bhambaniya is MP from Bhavnagar. A former teacher, she has earlier served as Bhavnagar mayor and worked in different organisational roles within the BJP.

Modi in a Decade

The last decade of the Modi-led government saw institutional and economic development and a culture of inclusive governance — sabka saath sabka vikas sabka vishwas. With his focus on GYAN (Garib, Yuva, Annadata, Nari Shakti), PM Modi showed that he is the flagbearer of growth, youth development, gender equality and nation-building.
The Weberian concept of “charismatic authority” is particularly apt in PM Modi’s context. Under his leadership, the BJP fostered the idea of one nation and strengthened nationalism by imbibing a deep sense of patriotism in citizens. Various local factors are responsible for cultivating among Dalits a bias towards the BJP, but Modi’s image is central to the admiration they have for the party. This election was popularly referred to as “Modi ka election” — he is seen to be more popular and identifiable than the BJP symbol of the lotus, especially in rural India. His focus on stability, development, and progress — the “Modi Guarantee” — acquired people’s faith.
Through exemplary initiatives like the Panchteerth of Babasaheb, PM has honoured the legacy of B R Ambedkar. The support for the BJP among the Dalit communities in the country has seen a massive rise, from 24 per cent votes in 2014 to 36 per cent votes in 2019. Under Modi, social harmony and unity, ideology over identity, and conviction over hollow promises have taken precedence. This marks a historic shift in Dalit politics.
The PM fought the election with his track record in infrastructure building, investment, innovation, and inclusiveness. From the country becoming a major exporter of toys to being on the cusp of developing indigenous semiconductor chips, the Make in India initiative is ushering Bharat towards a new level of atma nirbharta by making the country a global manufacturing hub. The major beneficiaries of industrialisation are now women and youth, of which Dalits constitute a major chunk. The manufacturing boom is likely to pave the way for uplifting millions of Dalits and backward classes into a new middle class. Socio-economic indicators suggest that despite reservation in education, a significant chunk of backward communities, Dalits, Adivasis and minorities still fall short of university degrees, making them ineligible for the service industry. However, the manufacturing upsurge has led to higher employment, particularly for the marginalised.
PM Modi will inevitably be compared to First Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. However, this is a different era — one of assertive aspirational India, looking to thrive not just survive. Re-electing a Prime Minister during an era of war and economic instability is one thing and re-electing a Prime Minister in an era when India is at peace with its neighbours and its growth story is touching new heights is another. History will accord Modi a prominent place in the list of all those who ushered India to new heights. Modi’s tenure is packed with action-oriented politics rather than rhetoric. He metamorphosed vote-bank politics into GYAN pillars. There has been a systematic shift in the thinking of voters, not just in urban areas but also in rural areas — they are able to sift through rhetoric and fear-mongering and focus on real issues.
The 2024 elections voiced the aspirations of the voters, defining what they want from the government and their equal stake in its formation. As india usher in a new era of the politics of consensus, the role of the government will be to ensure that the ideals, interest and inclusion of the marginalised are brought to the fore. It will be a welcome and much-awaited move.