India’s prime minister names Cabinet after decisive election

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s newly sworn in Prime Minister Narendra Modi named a Cabinet on Friday, handing the powerful home affairs portfolio to the president of his Hindu nationalist party credited with delivering him a thunderous reelection.

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah was named home minister and Modi’s first-term defense minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, was put in charge of finance. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the former ambassador to the United States, will oversee the external affairs ministry, India’s press information bureau said.

Modi was sworn in for a second term as prime minister on Thursday. He will also oversee the departments of atomic energy and space, and “all important policy issues,” it said.

The BJP won 303 seats in the 542-member lower house of Parliament in the elections, giving it a decisive mandate and the ability to form a government without other parties.

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But Modi faces immense challenges including a slowing economy, high joblessness and low agricultural prices that have hurt farmers.

The country of 1.3 billion people seeks swift economic change.

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