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Modi cabinet expansion: 19 new ministers today (Relevant for GS Prelims, GS Mains Paper II)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be undertaking an expansion of his Council of Ministers with 19 new Ministers from 10 States. The present size of Union Council of ministers is 64. 

Allegation against government
It is alleged that the government is undertaking expansion on account of upcoming assembly elections. Greater representation to poll bound states in Union Cabinet will enhance the prestige of leaders from these states.Consequently, they will be able to secure more votes.

Background: 91st amendment act, 2003
The 91st Amendment mainly deals with size of the Council of Ministers.
Size of Council of Ministers – 91st Amendment introduced in 2003-04, capped the upper level of Ministers to 15% of the strength of the  "popular house of the legislature" implying LS in case of Parliament and Vidhan Sabha in case of states. Exceptions were given for smaller legislature of Goa, Sikkim & Mizoram. Therefore, the maximum size of council of ministers can be 82 (i.e. 15 % of 545)



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