The big question is how Nirmala Sitharaman pipped everyone to the post and bagged the heavyweight Defence portfolio. The PM may be pleased with Sitharaman’s honesty, hard work, draftsmanship and ability to give a précis of lengthy documents, but other factors also weighed in her favour.
Editor of Inquilab, Shakeel Shamsi, in his column on September 4, writes: “Usually, BJP leaders are particular about choosing auspicious time and other details for any event. But this time, PM Modi, ignoring superstition, opted for the swearing in on September 3, of 13 Ministers.”
Portfolios headed by Ministers of State with independent charge drops to 12 from 15 after Sunday’s rejig with crucial ministries like coal, commerce, petroleum and skill development now under ministers with Cabinet-rank
The CM also asserted that Suresh Prabhu -- another minister from the state -- took several steps to improve railway connectivity in Maharashtra and minimise travel woes of Mumbai residents. The new railway minister, Piyush Goyal, would be similarly helpful, he said.
The agriculture ministry will now have three MoS along with Parshottam Rupala. Raj was earlier the MoS for Women and Child Development while Shekhawat was a Member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance.
"We neither considered the issue nor we had any desire or expectation (about joining the Union government). The issue was speculated in the media. It was baseless and unfounded," the JD(U) president told reporters.