Irani shifted to textiles ministry, Javadekar is new HRD minister | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Irani shifted to textiles ministry, Javadekar is new HRD minister

Controversial Union HRD minister Smriti Irani was moved to the low-profile textiles ministry on Tuesday and replaced by Prakash Javadekar after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reshuffled his team and inducted 19 new ministers into his cabinet.

india Updated: Jul 06, 2016 11:21 IST
Kumar Uttam
HRD minister Smriti Irani with new cabinet minister Prakash Javadekar after a cabinet meeting at South Block in New Delhi on Tuesday.
HRD minister Smriti Irani with new cabinet minister Prakash Javadekar after a cabinet meeting at South Block in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI)

A day after he said the planned reshuffle of his cabinet was “not a change but an expansion”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday went for a sea change in his team as he shuffled portfolios of many of his prominent ministers.

The most unexpected was the shifting of Smriti Irani from human resource development (HRD) to the unglamorous textiles ministry. Prakash Javadekar whose elevation to the cabinet rank on Tuesday took many by surprise replaced Irani as the HRD minister.

Read: As it happened: New portfolios after Modi’s cabinet reshuffle

Newly appointed minister Anil Madhav Dave was appointed environment minister in place of Javadekar.

Ravi Shankar Prasad is the new law minister, replacing DV Sadananda Gowda who was shifted to the statistics and programme implementation ministry. Minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha was promoted and given independent charge of communications, while Prasad retained the charge of electronics and information technology.

Urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu was divested of the parliamentary affairs portfolio and given charge of the information and broadcasting ministry, which was earlier with finance minister Arun Jaitley.

Chemicals and fertilisers minister Ananth Kumar was another gainer as he got the additional charge of parliamentary affairs.

Read: Complete list of portfolios of Modi’s ministers

The changes were announced hours after Modi expanded his council of ministers, inducting 19 new faces as junior ministers and dropping five.

Shortly after the swearing-in at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Modi told his cabinet colleagues at a meeting that he had little time in hand and they should be prepared for “big changes” in their portfolios.

Though there was no change in the top four portfolios — home, external affairs, finance and defence —the Prime Minister delivered a clear message through major changes in portfolios of prominent ministers: that they should stay clear of controversies.

Irani had a controversy-riddled tenure that started with question marks about her academic credentials but soon turned into frequent face-offs with the academia.

Gowda was unable to strike a positive chord with the judiciary, which has been upset with the government’s perceived attempt to interfere in judicial appointments. He courted controversy recently after he sought the law commission’s report on the implementation of the uniform civil code.

Gowda has been shifted from law to the less important statistics and programme implementation.

Read: Cabinet expansion: Modi promotes Javadekar, inducts 19 ministers, drops 5

Junior foreign minister General VK Singh too was engulfed in controversies as his remarks drew frequent criticism of the government. The former army chief was stripped of independent charge in the statistics and implementation ministry.

Portfolios of rural development minister Birender Singh and steel minister Narendra Singh Tomar were swapped.

New junior minister Vijay Goel will head the sports and youth affairs ministry, which has been vacant since Sarbananda Sonowal shifted from the Centre to become Assam chief minister.

Minister of state in the finance ministry, Jayant Sinha, was shifted as junior minister in the civil aviation department. Santosh Gangwar and Arjun Ram Meghwal are new ministers of state in the finance department.

Journalist-politician MJ Akbar was appointed junior minister in the external affairs ministry. Five-term MP SS Ahluwalia was made minister of state for agriculture and parliamentary affairs.

Read: With cabinet expansion, Modi performs a balancing act in poll-bound UP

Among NDA allies, RPI’s Ramdas Athawale became junior minister in the social justice and empowerment ministry while Apna Dal’s Anupriya Patel got health and family welfare.

The reshuffle was viewed as an exercise aimed both at pleasing voters in states headed for elections next year as well as speeding up efforts to boost economic growth.

Among those dropped was Mansukh Bhai Vasava, a junior minister in the tribal affairs ministry that has in the past locked horns with Javadekar, mostly over tribal rights and diversion of forest land for industry.

Read: There’s a message in Javadekar’s promotion, Vasava’s dismissal

At least seven of the new ministers are from states going to elections next year and five from the Dalit community, part of the BJP’s plan to appeal to the scheduled castes in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The states vote next year and have a substantial population of scheduled castes.

With the expansion, the size of Modi’s cabinet has swelled to 78 — one of the biggest in years and a far cry from Modi’s 2014 election promise of “minimum government and maximum governance”.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi
    Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space, All important policy issues, and All other portfolios not allocated to any Minister
Cabinet Ministers
  • Anant Geete
    Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
  • Ananthkumar
    Chemicals and Fertilizers; Parliamentary Affairs
  • Arun Jaitley
    Finance, Corporate Affairs
  • Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati
    Civil Aviation
  • Chaudhary Birender Singh
    Steel
  • D.V. Sadananda Gowda
    Statistics & Programme Implementation
  • Dr Najma A Heptulla
    Minority Affairs
  • Dr. Harsh Vardhan
    Science and Technology Earth Sciences
  • Harsimrat Kaur Badal
    Food Processing Industries
  • Jagat Prakash Nadda
    Health & Family Welfare
  • Jual Oram
    Tribal Affairs
  • Kalraj Mishra
    Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
  • M Venkaiah Naidu
    Urban Development; Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation; Information & Broadcasting
  • Maneka Sanjay Gandhi
    Women and Child Development
  • Manohar Parrikar
    Defence
  • Narendra Singh Tomar
    Rural Development; Panchayati Raj; Drinking Water and Sanitation
  • Nitin Jairam Gadkari
    Road Transport and Highways Shipping
  • Prakash Javadekar
    Human Resource Development
  • Radha Mohan Singh
    Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
  • Rajnath Singh
    Home Affairs
  • Ramvilas Paswan
    Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
  • Ravi Shankar Prasad
    Law & Justice; Electronics & Information Technology
  • Smriti Zubin Irani
    Textiles
  • Suresh Prabhu
    Railways
  • Sushma Swaraj
    External Affairs
  • Thaawar Chand Gehlot
    Social Justice and Empowerment
  • Uma Bharati
    Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
Ministers of State
  • Ajay Tamta
    Textiles
  • Anil Madhav Dave
    Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge)
  • Anupriya Patel
    Health & Family Welfare
  • Arjun Ram Meghwal
    Finance, Corporate Affairs
  • Babul Supriyo
    Urban Development; Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
  • Bandaru Dattatreya
    Labour and Employment (Independent Charge)
  • C.R. Chaudhary
    Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
  • Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
    Information & Broadcasting
  • Dharmendra Pradhan
    Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge)
  • Dr. Jitendra Singh
    Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge); Prime Minister’s Office; Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy; Department of Space
  • Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey
    Human Resource Development
  • Dr. Mahesh Sharma
    Culture (Independent Charge); Tourism (Independent Charge)
  • Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan
    Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
  • Dr. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre
    Defence
  • Faggan Singh Kulaste
    Health & Family Welfare
  • G.M. Siddeshwara
    Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises
  • General V.K. Singh
    External Affairs
  • Giriraj Singh
    Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
  • Hansraj Gangaram Ahir
    Home Affairs
  • Haribhai Parthbhai Chaudhary

  • Jasvantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor
    Tribal Affairs
  • Jayant Sinha
    Civil Aviation
  • Kiren Rijiju
    Home Affairs
  • Krishan Pal
    Social Justice & Empowerment
  • Krishna Raj
    Women & Child Development
  • M.J. Akbar
    External Affairs
  • Manoj Sinha
    Communications (Independent Charge); Railways
  • Mansukh L. Mandaviya
    Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Chemicals & Fertilizers
  • Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
    Minority Affairs; Parliamentary Affairs
  • Nirmala Sitharaman
    Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge)
  • P.P. Chaudhary
    Law & Justice, Electronics & Information Technology
  • Parshottam Rupala
    Agriculture & Farmers Welfare; Panchayati Raj
  • Piyush Goyal
    Power (Independent Charge); Coal (Independent Charge); New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge); Mines (Independent Charge)
  • Radhakrishnan P.
    Road Transport & Highways; Shipping
  • Rajen Gohain
    Railways
  • Rajiv Pratap Rudy
    Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge)
  • Ram Kripal Yadav
    Rural Development
  • Ramdas Athawale
    Social Justice & Empowerment
  • Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi
    Drinking Water & Sanitation
  • Rao Inderjit Singh
    Planning (Independent Charge); Urban Development; Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation
  • S.S. Ahluwalia
    Agriculture & Farmers Welfare; Parliamentary Affairs
  • Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti
    Food Processing Industries
  • Santosh Kumar Gangwar
    Finance
  • Shripad Yesso Naik
    AAYUSH (Independent Charge)
  • Sudarshan Bhagat
    Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
  • Upendra Kushwaha
    Human Resources Development
  • Vijay Goel
    Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge); Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
  • Vijay Sampla
    Social Justice & Empowerment
  • Vishnu Deo Sai
    Steel
  • Y.S. Chowdary
    Science and Technology; Earth Science

Read: Poll concerns: How Modi went from ‘minimum govt’ to jumbo cabinet