Modi ‘Darbar’: Amit Shah gets Home Ministry, Nirmala Finance

New Delhi: Amit Shah will be the new Home Minister, Rajnath Singh the new Defence Minister and Nirmala Sitharaman the new Finance Minister, the Rashtrapati Bhavan announced today, a day after Narendra Modi took oath as Prime Minister for the second consecutive term.

Former Foreign Secretary turned Minister S Jaishankar has got the External Affairs Ministry while Smriti Irani will be the Women and Child Development Minister along with retaining the Textile Ministry, according to a communiqué issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Nirmala Sitharaman will be the new Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister while Nitin Gadkari will continue to be the Minister for Road Transport and Highways. Piyush Goyal has been given the charge of the Ministries of Railways and Commerce while Ravi Shankar Prasad will continue to helm the Ministry of Law, Telecom as well as the IT Ministries.

Modi will retain DoPT, Atomic Energy as well as all important policy issues and portfolios not allocated.

Modi was sworn in on Thursday as Prime Minister for a second term, helming a 58-member team of ministers, including him and BJP president Amit Shah who makes his debut in the Central government. A new Ministry of Jal Shakti has been created and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat will be its in-charge.

The Ministers of State include Faggansingh Kulaste (Steel), Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Health and Family Welfare), Arjun Ram Meghwal (Parliamentary Affairs and Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises), General (Retd) V K Singh ( Road Transport and Highways), Krishan Pal (Social Justice and Empowerment), Danve Raosaheb Dadarao (Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution), G Kishan Reddy (Home Affairs).

The 58-member Union Council of Ministers includes those holding the 25 Cabinet ranks, nine Ministers of State (Independent charge) and 24 Ministers of State.

AIADMK to join soon?
Chennai: Though no AIADMK representative was inducted in the Modi Cabinet that took oath last night, there are indications that the southern ally of the BJP will soon find a berth in Council of Ministers.
Speaking to mediapersons this morning, former Rajya Sabha MP and senior BJP leader L Ganesan said, “AIADMK will find place in Union Cabinet.”
There were reports that did rounds yesterday that Theni AIADMK MP and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s son Raveendranath Kumar or senior party leader Vaithilingam will be appointed Union Minister. However it did not happen.
Meanwhile, State Minister Kadambur Raju today said that both Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and OPS have discussed (the issue) and soon AIADMK will get its berth in the Cabinet.

NT Bureau