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Narendra Modi’s Cabinet Sees Influx of 7 Women Ministers

Along with 71 other ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in for a third term on Sunday at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Out of the 72 members of the Union council of ministers, 7 women were sworn in with Prime Minister Modi. The previous council of ministers, which disbanded on June 5, included ten female ministers. This time, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Darshana Jardosh, Meenakshi Lekhi, Pratima Bhoumik, former Union Minister Smriti Irani, and Minister of State Dr. Bharti Pawar did not make it to the council of ministers.

Here are the seven female members of the new NDA government’s Union Council of Ministers:
Nirmala Sitharaman (BJP): A Rajya Sabha member, Nirmala Sitharaman was the Union finance minister in the previous government. Sitharaman is one of two women in the Union Cabinet. This is her third consecutive term in the Union Cabinet.

Annapurna Devi (BJP): An OBC leader from Jharkhand, Annapurna Devi the second woman in the Union Cabinet. She is seen as a key figure in consolidating BJP’s support ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in the state. Previously associated with the RJD, Annapurna Devi has seen a meteoric rise within the BJP ever since she joined the latter after the death of her husband. She has served as minister at the state level in Jharkhand and undivided Bihar.

Savitri Thakur (BJP): Savitri Thakur (46) was sworn-in as a Minister of State on Sunday. A prominent tribal leader form Madhya Pradesh, she won from the Dhar seat in the Lok Sabha elections 2024, after being denied a ticket in the 2019 edition.

Nimuben Bambhaniya (BJP): Nimuben Bambhaniya, inducted as a minister of state, is one of three women to win from Gujarat on a BJP ticket. The 57-year-old defeated Aam Aadmi Party’s Umesh Makwana by a huge margin of 4.55 lakh votes in Bhavnagar constituency.

The former teacher served as the mayor of Bhavnagar for two terms between 2009-10 and 2015-18 and was the vice president of the BJP Mahila Morcha’s state unit between 2013 and 2021.

Raksha Khadse (BJP): Minister of State Raksha Khadse (37), the daughter-in-law of former BJP leader Eknath Khadse, is a three term MP from Maharashtra. After her husband Nikhil committed suicide in 2013 after a narrow loss in the Maharashtra Legislative Council election to NCP leader Manish Jain, she contested and won the Lok Sabha elections in Raver in 2014 against Jain. She won again in 2014, by a margin of more than three lakh votes.

In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, she won by a margin of 2.72 lakh votes against NCP nominee Shriram Patil. Khadse has a B.Sc degree in computer science.

Shobha Karandlaje (BJP): Shobha Karandlaje (57), a vocal critic of religious extremism from Karnataka, previously served as the Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. A close confidante of state BJP strongman B S Yediyurappa, Karandlaje is a three-time Lok Sabha member. Karandlaje won from Bangalore North Lok Sabha segment by a margin of 2,59,476, defeating M V Rajeev Gowda of the Congress, and became Bengaluru’s first ever woman MP.

Anupriya Patel (Apna Dal): Anupriya Patel, who returns to the Union council of minister, is a prominent leader from the Other Backward Class (OBC) Kurmi community and daughter of the late Dr Soneylal Patel, founder of Apna Dal. She was Minister of state for commerce in the previous government. She defeated Samajwadi Party’s Ramesh Chand Bind by a margin of 37,810 votes in the Mirzapur seat inf Uttar Pradesh.

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