**Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a press conference with senior BJP and NDA leaders in attendance, discussing the upcoming swearing-in ceremony for his third term.**Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accompanied by senior BJP and NDA leaders, prepares for his third term swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to take the oath for his third term at Rashtrapati Bhavan this evening, with 72 ministers expected to join his cabinet. In anticipation of the ceremony, Modi met with key leaders from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), many of whom are likely to receive ministerial posts.

Prominent leaders at the meeting included BJP veterans and NDA allies such as Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Dr. S. Jaishankar, Dharmendra Pradhan, Ashwini Vaishnaw, and Piyush Goyal, who were part of the previous Modi government. Other notable attendees were Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Jyotiraditya Scindia, JDU leader Rajiv Ranjan Singh, HAM leader Jitan Ram Manjhi, RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary, JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy, LJP (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan, and Jitin Prasada.

Unlike Modi 2.0, the BJP now relies on its NDA allies to secure a majority in the Lok Sabha, having fallen below the majority mark. This shift has elevated the influence of allies like N Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP and Nitish Kumar’s JDU, both of which are expected to secure significant ministerial positions.

Following an extensive 11-hour meeting at Modi’s residence, decisions on the new cabinet were finalized. Key figures in this meeting included Amit Shah, BJP chief JP Nadda, and the party’s national general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh. Sources indicate that Shah, Rajnath Singh, and Nitin Gadkari are likely to retain their current portfolios, while Nirmala Sitharaman and Dr. S Jaishankar are expected to continue in their roles overseeing finance and external affairs, respectively.

Several allies are poised to join the cabinet. Chirag Paswan, HD Kumaraswamy, Anupriya Patel, Jayant Chaudhary, and Jitan Ram Manjhi are among those anticipated to receive ministerial roles. The Shiv Sena, represented by Buldhana MP Prataprao Jadhav, and Ramdas Athawale of the Republic Party of India (A) are also expected to be part of Modi’s new team.

In addition to retaining key ministers from his previous government, Modi is expected to appoint new faces from various regions and communities. Prominent leaders such as Pralhad Joshi, Manohar Lal Khattar, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Jyotiraditya Scindia are likely to be included in the cabinet. BJP leaders from the Northeast, Sarbananda Sonowal and Kiren Rijiju, may also return as ministers.

The BJP’s current tally of 240 seats, 32 short of a majority, has made TDP and JDU crucial allies. However, BJP sources have stated that the core portfolios of Home, Defence, Finance, and External Affairs will remain with the BJP. The achievements in road connectivity under Nitin Gadkari have been highly praised, suggesting his continued leadership in this area.

The TDP, which secured 16 seats, and the JDU, with 12 seats, are reportedly negotiating for influential roles within the cabinet. From the JDU, Rajiv Ranjan Singh and Ram Nath Thakur are potential candidates for ministerial positions. The TDP’s Dr. Chandra Sekhar Pemmasani and Ram Mohan Naidu Kinjarapu are also expected to join the new government, according to party leader Jay Galla.

As the nation awaits the announcement of Modi’s new team, the balance of power within the NDA and the allocation of key portfolios will be closely watched, highlighting the strategic importance of coalition politics in Modi’s third term.


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