Following the death of Lok Janshakti Party leader and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Ramdas Athawale of the Republican Party of India (RPI) is the only member among BJP’s allies in the NDA government at the Centre.
However, there is no representation from BJP allies in the Union Cabinet. Mr Athawale is Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment.
Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena, Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal, and Ram Vilas Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party were from the BJP-led NDA alliance in the Union Cabinet when the Modi 2.0 government returned to power in 2019 following Lok Sabha elections.
While the Shiv Sena quit the NDA in late 2019, Shiromani Akali Dal left the alliance recently over the new farm legislations.
Another key NDA ally, the JD(U) had kept itself out of the government.
Besides Prime Minister Modi, a total of 57 ministers – 24 Cabinet Ministers, nine Ministers of State (with Independent charge) and 24 Ministers of State – had taken oath as members of the Union Council of Ministers on May 30, 2019.
Following the resignations of Arvind Sawant and Harsimrat Kaur Badal, and the death of Ram Vilas Paswan, there are 21 Cabinet Ministers.
With the recent death of Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, the number of ministers of state has also come down to 23.
As per the Constitution, the total number of Union Ministers, including the Prime Minister, shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total number of members in the Lok Sabha.
PM Narendra Modi can have as many as 80 ministers in the 543-member Lok Sabha.