Modi 3.0: First time since independence, no Muslim MP in cabinet

In a first for the country since Independent Indian history, the council of ministers, sworn in alongside Prime Minister Narender Modi, did not include a single representative from the Muslim minority community. This is the first time that no Muslim MP has been sworn into the Modi cabinet.

On June 9, at 7:15 pm, BJP leader Narendra Modi made history by taking the oath as India’s 15th Prime Minister, marking his third consecutive term in office. He is the first Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to lead the Union government for three consecutive terms.

The last Muslim MP in the Modi cabinet was Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who was the Union minister for minorities. The seat has been vacant since Naqvi was not re-elected in the Rajya Sabha in 2022.

In 2014, the first Modi government, Najma Heptulla was sworn in as the Union minority affairs minister. In 2019, Naqvi was sworn in and he too became the minority affairs minister.

During Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s term in 1999, there were two Muslim ministers – Shahnawaz Hussain and Omar Abdullah. In 1998, the Vajpayee-led ministry had Naqvi as minister of state.

This time, of the 71 that took oath apart from PM Modi, 30 of them are cabinet ministers, five will hold independent charges and 36 are to be ministers of state, none of them belonging to the Muslim community.

However, the Indian Parliament will see substantial Muslim representatives, mostly sitting in the Opposition. As many as 24 Muslim candidates have been elected as MPs including 21 from the INDIA bloc, one from AIMIM (Asaduddin Owaisi), and two independent MPs Abdul Rashid Sheikh or ‘Engineer Rashid’ and Mohmad Haneefa from J&K.

Likewise, there are no elected Sikh or Christian MPs. However, non-elected Sikhs and Christian MPs have found their way to Modi’s cabinet – Ravneet Singh Bittu and George Kurien.

While Bittu lost to Punjab Congress’s chief Amrinder Raja Singh Warring, Kurien has been with the saffron party for over three decades. Both were administered the oath and have been offered ministries.


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