This Article is From Sep 04, 2017

Cabinet Reshuffle: Nirmala Sitharaman Gets Defence, Piyush Goyal Gets Railways - 10 Points

PM Narendra Modi's cabinet reshuffle - the third in as many years - has been due for months now, especially in the scenario of vacancies and shifting alliances.

Cabinet reshuffle: Nine new ministers took oath in PM Modi's revamped cabinet.


  • Nirmala Sitharaman gets Defence Ministry, takes charge from Arun Jaitley
  • Ms Sitharaman is India's first woman Defence Minister after Indira Gandhi
  • Piyush Goyal appointed Railways Minister, Suresh Prabhu gets Commerce
New Delhi: Nirmala Sitharaman will be the country's new Defence Minister while Piyush Goyal will be the new Railways Minister after a cabinet reshuffle on Sunday that saw nine new ministers take oath. Ms Sitharaman and Mr Goyal too took oath after being promoted to cabinet rank along with Dharmendra Pradhan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Nirmala Sitharaman is the first woman Defence Minister; Indira Gandhi held the department twice when she was Prime Minister.

Here are the top 10 developments on the cabinet reshuffle:

  1. Ms Sitharaman, 58, will now be part of the top 5 or the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which also includes the Prime Minister, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Finance Minster Arun Jaitley. It's for the first time that the CCS will have two women members.

  2. Arun Jaitley sheds Defence and will retain the Finance Ministry. He will, however, attend an international meeting of Defence Ministers in Japan, for which he left on Sunday night.

  3. Apart from Railways, Piyush Goyal retains the ministry of Coal. Dharmendra Pradhan, now cabinet minister, will continue to have charge of Petroleum and Natural Gas and will also be minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, which Rajiv Pratap Rudy gave up two days ago.

  4. Suresh Prabhu, who exits as Rail Minister, will be the new Commerce Minister, the department that was held by Ms Sitharaman. Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi continues in his departments as a Cabinet minister.

  5. Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, who holds several key portfolios, has also been given charge of Water Resources and PM Modi's pet project of cleaning the Ganga. Uma Bharti was moved from that ministry and has been given the ministry of drinking water and sanitation. She skipped the oath ceremony on Sunday.

  6. Of the new ministers in PM Modi's team, ex-diplomat Hardeep Puri will be minster of state with independent charge for housing and urban affairs. Former home secretary RK Singh will have independent charge of power and MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) and KJ Alphons of Tourism. He will also be minster of state for MEITY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology).

  7. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore replaced Vijay Goel in the Sports Ministry. Mr Goel, who earlier held independent charge, will be the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics and Programme Implementation.

  8. PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah met the new ministers this morning at the Prime Minister's residence. PM Modi reportedly told them to perform and "do a good job." His council of ministers will now have 76 ministers, up from 73. It can have a maximum 81 members.

  9. Six ministers resigned to make way for the new faces and sources said they were largely pink-slipped over performance, as PM Modi looks to streamline government performance and efficiency and speed up development work ahead of the 2019 national elections when he will seek a second term.

  10. PM Modi left for China to attend a BRICS summit soon after the oath ceremony on Sunday.

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