Amit Shah gets home ministry, Rajnath Singh defence in PM Modi’s new cabinet
Amit Shah, the big entry in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s freshly-minted Cabinet, has been given the Home Ministry, Rajnath Singh moved to Defence Ministry and Nirmala Sitharaman appointed the Finance Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet, according to a Rashtrapati Bhawan communiqué.
S Jaishankar, widely acknowledged as the surprise entry in this team, has been given the Foreign Ministry. The retired career diplomat was part of a troika with Modi and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval that shaped foreign policy in the early years of the previous Modi government.
Jaishankar and Amit Shah are likely to be the new fac es in the Cabinet Committee on Security. Nirmala Sitharaman, who was in the government’s top security panel by virtue of holding the defence ministry, will also be a member as finance minister. So will Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
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The 25-member Union Cabinet will hold its first meeting at 5.30 pm.
Piyush Goyal, the railways minister in the outgoing government has been given additional responsibility of the commerce ministry after Suresh Prabhu was dropped from the new cabinet.
Nitin Gadkari has retained the road transport ministry and Smriti Irani who had made a mark in the Lok Sabha elections by defeating Rahul Gandhi in the Congress bastion of Amethi has been given Women and Child Development, apart from the textiles ministry that she held in the previous government.
Former Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has been appointed education minister in place of Prakash Javadekar who gets Environment as well as Information and Broadcasting.
President Ram Nath Kovind had last evening sworn in PM Modi and his 57-member council of ministers. In a tweet soon after, PM Modi had described his new team “a blend of youthful energy and administrative experience”.
Ex-diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri, a minister of state with independent charge, also gets the additional charge of civil aviation part from housing and urban affairs.
Veteran Ravi Shankar Prasad retains Law and Juctice; and Electronics and Information Technology. He also got the charge of communications. Harsh Vardhan will be health minister, Narendra Singh Tomar Agriculture apart from Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.
PM Modi has made sure that the team hits the ground running. Well before his first term ended, PM Modi – who was confident of his re-election – had ordered central ministries to start working on 100-day action plans that they will implement besides a 1,000-day agenda that will run up to the first half of 2022.