Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday dropped 21 ministers from his previous council of ministers in the new union cabinet as he formed his government for the second term. Those dropped are Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Uma Bharti, Suresh Prabhu, Maneka Gandhi, Shiv Pratap Shukla, Jual Oram, Rajvardhan Singh Rathore, Suresh Prabhu, Anupriya Patel, JP Nadda, SS Ahluwalia, Radhamohan Singh, Chaudhary Birender Singh, Vijay Sampla, Anant Geete, Subhash Bhamre, Jayant Sinha, Mahesh Sharma, Manoj Sinha and Alphons Kannanthanam.
Arun Jaitley, 66, cited health issues to ask the prime minister - who has aptly described him as "a precious diamond" - to let him stay out of the cabinet. Knowing well how to work the levers of power, he was Narendra Modi's go-to man in New Delhi since the late 1990s and over the years graduated from being the legal brain warding-off court trouble in the aftermath of the 2002 riots to being his chief swordsman, input provider and sounding board.
The 67-year-old Sushma Swaraj who has held key positions in the party and its governments since decades was conspicuous by her absence in the new cabinet. Swaraj, who was external affairs minister during the previous term of Modi government, did not contest the Lok Sabha elections this time, declaring that her health did not permit her to enter the fray and campaign. When the BJP was in Opposition during the UPA government from 2004 to 2014, Swaraj was the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and a successful one.
Suresh Prabhu, who held the key portfolios of Railways and then commerce and industry and civil aviation, also did not find a place in the new council of ministers.
JP Nadda, who was the health minister in the previous term, was also absent from the list of ministers this time. However, there is speculation that he could be made the BJP President to succeed Amit Shah who has been included in the Cabinet.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, a former Olympian, who was a successful sport and information and broadcasting minister, also did not figure in the list of ministers.
Mahesh Sharma, the minister for tourism and culture in the previous government was also dropped this time.
Jayant Sinha, minister of state for finance in the previous government, also was missing in the new cabinet. He is the son of former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who has been extremely critical of Modi.
Maneka Gandhi, union minister for women and child development in the previous government was also dropped this time. She won from Sultanpur defeating the BSP's Chandra Bhadra Singh by 14,526 votes.
Minister of communications (Independent Charge) and minister of state (MoS) for railways in the previous government, Manoj Sinha was also dropped.
Uma Bharti, union minister for drinking water and sanitation in the previous government, was dropped from the new cabinet.
Anupriya Patel, MoS, health and family welfare, also did not figure in the list of ministers.
Chaudhary Birender Singh, union steel minister, in the previous government, was dropped from the new cabinet.
Former union heavy industries and public enterprises minister in the previous government Anant Geete was dropped from the new cabinet.
Subhash Bhamre, minister of state for defence, in the previous government was also dropped this time.
Jual Oram, union tribal affairs minister, in the previous government was dropped from the Modi government this time.
Union minister of state for tourism Alphons Kannanthanam in the previous government was dropped this time.
Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Vijay Sampla in the first Modi government was dropped this time.
SS Ahluwalia, minister of state, ministry of electronics and information technology, in the previous government was also dropped this time.
Subhash Bhamre, minister of state for defence, in the previous government was dropped this time.
Radha Mohan Singh, minister of agriculture & farmers welfare, in the previous government was dropped this time.
Shiv Pratap Shukla, minister of state for finance, in the previous government was dropped this time.