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Nirmala Sitharaman takes charge as defence minister

She took charge in the presence of her predecessor Arun Jaitley. A priest held prayers in the defence minister’s chamber before she assumed charge.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2017 13:08 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Nirmala Sitharaman,Defence Minister,Arun Jaitley
Nirmala Sitharaman took over the reins of the defence ministry on September 7.(Rahul Singh/ HT Photo)

Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday took charge of the defence ministry, becoming the first full-time woman defence minister of the country.

She took charge in the presence of her predecessor Arun Jaitley who was given the additional charge of the key ministry in March after Manohar Parrikar quit the union cabinet to become the chief minister of Goa.

Sitharaman was elevated to the cabinet rank on Sunday and given the defence portfolio.

A priest held prayers in the defence minister’s chamber before she assumed charge.

Senior officials of the ministry were present and she briefly interacted with them after taking over as the minister.

On Sunday, Sitharaman will travel to Goa to flag off the all-women sailing expedition. She will be accompanied by Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba.

Sitharaman became the first full-time woman defence minister and the second woman to take charge of the key portfolio. Indira Gandhi, as then prime minister, had also held the portfolio in the seventies.

As the defence minister, Sitharaman will be a member of the crucial cabinet committee on Security whose members include the Prime Minister, the home minister, the external affairs minister and the finance minister.

(with inputs from HT Correspondent)

First Published: Sep 07, 2017 11:52 IST