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Ram Mohan Naidu Takes Over Aviation Ministry From Jyotiraditya Scindia


New Delhi:

Telugu Desam Party MP Ram Mohan Naidu is the new Civil Aviation Minister, replacing the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Jyotiraditya Scindia, who has been given charge of the Telecom Ministry.

Mr Naidu is from Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister-designate N Chandrababu Naidu’s party, which played a key role in ensuring the BJP returns to power after the 2024 Lok Sabha election. 

Mr Naidu, who is also his party’s National General Secretary, contested the 2024 Lok Sabha election from the Srikakulam constituency, a seat he has now won three times in a row. 

He beat the YSR Congress Party’s Perada Tilak by nearly three lakh votes.

Mr Naidu’s father, Kinjarapu Yerran Naidu, was the MLA from Andhra Pradesh’s Tekkali and later the MP from Srikakulam; he won the seat four times between 1996 and 2004.

Mr Yerran Naidu was Rural Development Minister in the United Front government.

READ | Who Will Get Lok Sabha Speaker Post? Big Question In Modi 3.0

The TDP had reportedly demanded four ministerial posts and the high-profile Lok Sabha Speaker’s Chair, given that it is, within the NDA, the second-largest party. Earlier sources said the TDP would get four.

READ | Modi 3.0: Major Ministries Unchanged, Boost For Allies, Regional Balance

The raft of cabinet announcements made Monday included some surprises and some big names retaining their posts. Chief among the latter were the Big 4 – the Home, Defence, Finance, and External Affair. Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, and S Jaishankar have retained these positions.

Senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari retains his Road Transport and Highways post, and Ashwini Vaishnaw has retained his Railways portfolio with Information and Broadcasting added. 

READ | Ex-Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan Is Agriculture Minister

New faces include ex-Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who has been rewarded for orchestrating his party’s thumping Assembly win last year by being made Agriculture Minister.

READ | BJP Chief JP Nadda Returns As Health Minister In Modi 3.0 Cabinet

Another ex-Chief Minister – Haryana’s ML Khattar – is Power and Housing and Urban Affairs Minister.

In the 2024 Lok Sabha election the BJP won 240 seats on its own – 32 below the majority mark – but managed to form the government for a third consecutive time thanks to 53 seats from National Democratic Allies, particularly the TDP and Nitish Kumar’s JDU. These two contributed 16 and 12 MPs.

The JDU has got two berths, of which one – Panchayati Raj – has gone to senior leader Lalan Singh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who will take the Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy, and Space ministries – was sworn in on Sunday evening for a record third time with a cabinet of 71 ministers, including 30 of cabinet rank.

The opposition INDIA bloc – led by the Congress – won 293 seats to put up an unexpectedly close fight. There was speculation the Congress would reach out to Chandrababu Naidu, who was once a UPA member. and Nitish Kumar, who helped found the INDIA bloc, to convince them to dump the BJP and come onboard, but that has not materialised, for now.

From the southern states – regions in which the BJP usually struggled, and did so again, with zero seats in Tamil Nadu and a drop of 11 in Karnataka. From the latter state, though, Janata Dal (Secular) boss HD Kumaraswamay has been given Heavy Industries and Steel.

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