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PM Modi retains key ministers in Indian cabinet formation

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept all key ministers in their portfolios in the new government, signaling that he is still in charge of the country despite having to rely on coalition allies to achieve a majority in Parliament.

Modi’s Indian People’s Party (BJP) fell short of the parliamentary majority mark in the election that ended this month.

However, the government has announced that there will be no personnel changes in the four most important ministries – Finance, Home Affairs, Defense and Foreign Affairs.

The party also maintained other important portfolios, such as Commerce and Agriculture.

The Indian capital was buzzing with talk that the allies would be negotiating for key portfolios before Modi takes office for a rare third consecutive term.

Analysts said there could be some anger over the cabinet picks but no immediate consequences.

“He managed to convince his allies to keep all the important portfolios to demonstrate continuity, and they seem to have agreed,” said Tarun Basu, director of the New Delhi-based Society for Policy Studies Institute.

“Despite this external projection, there will inevitably be internal pulls and pressures within the coalition, although they may not become public so quickly,” he added.

Only 5 of the 30 cabinet seats were awarded to allies, in ministries including Civil Aviation, Food Processing, Steel, Animal Husbandry and Small and Medium Enterprises.

The BJP won 240 of the 543 seats in the lower house of Parliament in India’s elections. The alliance that the party leads won a total of 293 seats, surpassing the majority mark of 272 seats.

“We believe the seat distribution shows continuity and equitable treatment of allies, which is a big plus,” PhillipCapital analyst Anjali Verma wrote in a note.

Source: CNN Brasil

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