India's Modi adds Cabinet ministers, some from lower castes

Published On: July 5, 2016 02:56 PM NPT By: Associated Press

NEW DELHI, July 5: India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expanded his Cabinet by inducting 19new ministers, several of them from lower castes, as he completed two years in office.

President Pranab Mukherjee swore in the new junior ministers at a ceremony at the president's palace on Tuesday.

The expansion is seen as Modi's attempt to woo lower caste voters to support his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in important state legislative elections early next year in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab states.

Modi described Tuesday's changes as an expansion and not a reshuffle of his Cabinet. He said his government intended to ensure speed and focus in development work.

The portfolios of the new ministers are expected to be announced later Tuesday.


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