Several ministers including Smriti Irani, who was shunted out from HRD to Textiles ministry, on Wednesday took charge of their new ministries and promised to work for development, streamlining justice delivery system, early passage of GST bill and ensuring speedy implementation of projects.
Apart from Smriti, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Ananth Kumar took over as Law and Parliamentary Affairs ministers respectively.
Prakash Javedekar, the lone promotee who was given HRD ministry in the reshuffle of the Council of Ministers by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, is scheduled to take up his new position on Thursday. Talking to reporters in New Delhi, he asserted that dialogue is the key to avoid agitations and that education is not a subject for party politics.
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“I am a product of student agitation, so we will always talk with everybody. So with dialogues in place, there will be no necessity of agitation,” Javadekar said.
Putting up a brave face, Irani, whose shifting is being seen as demotion, played down her portfolio change with a popular line of a Hindi movie song, “Kuch toh log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna.”
“I am happy that I have been given an opportunity especially when a special package (of Rs 6,000 crore for the apparel segment) has been announced for the sector. This signifies that my party and especially the Prime Minister has faith that I have the capacity to implement the roadmap that was projected through the Cabinet for the rest of the country,” Irani said.
Taking up his new assignment, Prasad emphasised that he will strive to find a “common ground” between the government and the judiciary on the issue of appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and high courts.
The remarks assume significance in the backdrop of government making efforts to iron out differences with the Supreme Court collegium on the memorandum of procedure (MoP) — a document which guides the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.
“We will be consulting, we will be meeting in an effort to find a common ground on the issue of judicial appointments… There is need to work in harmony…We respect the independence of the judiciary,” he told reporters here.
Other ministers included M J Akbar, Anil Madhav Dave and Santosh Gangwar, Rajen Gohain who assumed office as Ministers of State for External Affairs, Environment, Finance and Railways respectively.