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Tuesday, 05 July 2016 - 13:55
Indian PM Narendra Modi Expands Cabinet
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inducted 19 new ministers to his government in a major expansion.

The new ministers, including former journalist MJ Akbar and MP Arjun Ram Meghwal, took oath on Tuesday.

Senior ministers Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Manohar Parrikar have retained their posts.

According to Indian media, Mr Modi has inducted three new ministers from the poll-bound state of Uttar Pradesh to boost his party's chances of winning.

The government now has 13 ministers from northern Uttar Pradesh which goes to polls in 2017.

Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 73 out of 80 seats in the 2014 general election and it is hoping for a big win in next year's assembly polls.

A win in the election will help the party get more MPs in the upper house because they are elected by state legislature.

The BJP does not currently have a majority in the upper house, which has resulted in a number of important legislations being stalled there.

The state has been ruled by regional parties in the past 15 years.

"Keeping in mind the conditions that have been created in the state in the last 15 years, the only way to save the state is through development. And only the BJP can guarantee development," Mr Modi told The Indian Express.

Mr Modi will expect his ministers to promote his policies in Uttar Pradesh to attract voters.

Meanwhile, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has been promoted to the cabinet rank in the reshuffle.

Other ministers are also likely to reshuffle when Mr Modi assigns departments to new ministers.

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