Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday hosted a high tea for all 11 women members of Union Council of Ministers. As many as seven new women ministers were inducted into the government on Wednesday, apart from existing Cabinet ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Smriti Irani, and Ministers of State Sadhavi Niranjan Jyoti and Renuka Singh Saruta.
Of the 12 exits on Wednesday, only one women Minister of State (MoS) for Women and Child Development Debasree Chaudhuri was dropped from the Council of Ministers. “Smt @nsitharaman interacts with the women members of the Union Council of Ministers during a high tea session hosted at her residence today,” the Finance Minister tweeted.
Newly-inducted members in the Council–Meenakashi Lekhi MoS for External Affairs and Culture, Anupriya Patel, MoS for Commerce and Industry, Annapurna Devi MoS for Education, Pratima Bhoumik, MoS for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shobha Karandlaje MoS for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Bharati Pawar MoS for Health and Family Welfare, and Darshana Jardosh MoS for Railways & Textiles were present. Besides old colleagues in the Council, Smriti Irani Minister of Women and Child Development and MoS Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Renuka Singh Saruta too were present for the high tea.
Narendra Modi-led government as part of Cabinet expansion included seven more women ministers taking total strength in the Council of Ministers to 11, the highest since 2004. Both terms of the Manmohan Singh-led UPA governments had 10 women ministers each.