Parrikar new defence minister

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar addressing the media


Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar addressing the media
Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar addressing the media

Prime Minister Narendra Modi effected a reshuffle of some ministries and allocated portfolios to 21 new ministers, giving defence to Manohar Parrikar, railways to Suresh Prabhu, information and broadcasting to Arun Jaitley and moving Harsh Vardhan from health to science and technology.

A Rashrapati Bhavan communique said that Prabhu will be the new railways minister in place of D. V. Sadananda Gowda who has been moved to law and justice, held as additional charge by Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Jagat Prakash Nadda will be the new health and family welfare minister.

Parrikar, Prabhu, Nadda and Birender Singh were four cabinet ministers among 21 new ministers who took oath Sunday. They took oath along with three ministers of state with independent charge, and 14 ministers of state in Narendra Modi government’s first expansion Sunday.

Birender Singh has been given the portfolios of rural development, panchayati raj and drinking water and sanitation. Originally allocated to Gopinath Munde, these were given to Surface Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari following his death in a car accident.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who relinquishes charge of defence, has now been given additional charge of information and broadcasting.

Labour and employment has been taken from Narendra Singh Tomar and given to Bandaru Dattatreya who was sworn in as minister with independent charge. Tomar will continue as minister for steel and mines.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy will hold portfolio of skill development and entreprenuership (independent charge). The portfolio is crucial in Modi’s “Make in India” vision.

The ministry for development of northeastern region (independent charge) has been taken from Gen V. K. Singh (retd) and given to Jitendra Singh, who will also continue as minister of state in the prime minster’s office. Gen Singh will been given independent charge of ministry of statistics and programme implementation in addition to his earlier portfolios.

Shripad Yesso Naik will hold portfolio of ayush (independent charge) instead of tourism and culture which has been given to Mahesh Sharma. Naik will also be MoS for parliamentary affairs.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will be MoS Minority Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs.

Portfolios of other new MoS include Ram Kirpal Yadav (drinking water and sanitation), Sanwar Lal Jat (water resources, river development, and Ganga Rejuvenation), M.K. Kundariya (agriculture), Giriraj Singh (micro, small and medium enterprises), Hansraj Ahir (chemicals and fertilizers), R.S. Katheria (human resource development), Jayant Sinha (finance), Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (retd.) (information and broadcasting), Babul Supriyo Baral (urban development, housing and urban poverty alleviation), Niranjan Jyoti (food processing Industries) and Vijay Sampla (social justice and empowerment).

Upendra Kushwaha has been shifted as MoS from rural development to human resource development.