General News

Here's How Many Ministers There Can Be In The Union Cabinet

Written By Monica Aggarwal | Mumbai | Published:

As the nation awaits Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi to take the oath for the second consecutive term in office on Thursday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan's Forecourt, world leaders, politicians and celebrities have started arriving in New Delhi ahead of the swearing-in ceremony. Amid the speculations over who will be included in Modi's Union Cabinet 2.0, sources had told Republic TV that NDA allies including JD(U) and LJP in Bihar, Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, SAD in Punjab are set to get one ministerial berth each during PM Modi's swearing-in ceremony.

The Constitution of India provides the provision that the total number of ministers in the Council must not exceed 15% of the total number of members of the Lok Sabha. Ministers must be members of parliament. Any minister who is not a member of either of the houses of the parliament for six consecutive months is automatically stripped off his or her ministerial post.

On January 1, 2004, the 91st Amendment was made to the Articles 75 and 164 of the Indian Constitution, limiting the size of the Council of Ministers at the Centre and the States to no more than 15 per cent of the numbers in the Lok Sabha or the State Legislature, came into effect. Notably, with 543 Members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, there can be 81 ministers in the Union Cabinet. 

Sources have further told Republic that 50 ministers will take the oath along with PM Modo today at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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In March 1998, when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government was formed, it had 21 Cabinet and 21 Ministers of State some with independent charge. At the beginning of his second year in October 1999, the cabinet was expanded to 22 Cabinet and 22 Ministers of State. 

In 1999, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance government entered office with 69 ministers and in 2004, the UPA with 67.

In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet was slightly smaller in size than that of his predecessor Manmohan Singh's 77. His cabinet was conducted of 66 ministers, including 28 cabinet ministers, the Prime Minister, 39 Ministers of State and Minister of State (Independent charge) combined. However, 2016, during the cabinet reshuffle, he expanded the Cabinet to 78 ministers. 

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