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After high-profile poll win, Irani makes a quiet return

Expectations had been high after Irani defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi from Amethi by about 55,000 votes.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2019 13:39 IST
Amrita Madhukalya
Amrita Madhukalya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
smriti irani,wcd,cabinet meeting
In the earlier Modi government, Irani first held the human resource development and then the information & broadcasting ministries before she was allocated textiles in July 2016(Arvind Yadav/HT)

Hers was the most awaited portfolio announcement, but soon after the full ministry list was made public on Friday afternoon, Smriti Irani made a quiet entry at Udyog Bhawan to take charge of the Union ministry of textiles, away from the glare of TV cameras.

Expectations had been high after Irani defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi from Amethi by about 55,000 votes. The other portfolio she has been given is women and child development (WCD), which she will take charge on Monday. She succeeds Maneka Gandhi as WCD minister.

In the earlier Modi government, Irani first held the human resource development and then the information & broadcasting ministries before she was allocated textiles in July 2016. For a while, she held simultaneous charge of the I&B and textiles ministries.

At about 5pm, Irani entered Udyog Bhawan, where the ministry is housed.

After a brief meeting with ministry officials, she left for the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 5.30pm. Textile ministry officials said Irani had outlined some goals for the next five years.

“She was keen that the ministry should focus on employment and income generation, promote exports, and in the next 100 days, hold consultations with stakeholders and get an appraisal of gaps,” said a senior ministry official, who asked not to be named.

The official said the ministry now wants to work in the areas of design intervention and marketing products of craftsmen, especially from the Northeast, to boost exports.

First Published: May 31, 2019 23:28 IST