Ram Madhav termed the reshuffle a “normal exercise” and said that on reviewing the situation a decision was taken to give an opportunity to five more MLAs to understand governance.
The Sena MP also said that Pawar told him that the NCP’s stand is very clear on not joining the Modi government, yet rumours are being spread to create confusion.
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.”
Uma Bharti formally handed over the ministry to Gadkari in a room with a laminated photograph of Modi praying to the Ganga.
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
Dharmendra Pradhan was elevated as Cabinet Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas in the reshuffle carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.
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.
The Bharatiya Janata Party government came to power on the plank of growth and development. The promise of Achhe Din of Prime Minister Narendra Modi warranted reforms and Puri acknowleded that scale of the task ahead.
The BJP may also have to choose another leader as the state chief spokesperson because the incumbent on the post, Hridya Narayan Dixit, was elected MLA from Bhagwant Nagar and is now the state Assembly Speaker.
Parliament floor management will also see a change as Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar has two new deputies, Arjun Ram Meghwal and Vijay Goel, in place of Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and S S Ahluwalia.
Piyush Goyal, who was in charge of Power, has got Railways and will continue to handle the Coal portfolio. Dharmendra Pradhan, who continues to handle Petroleum, has been given additional charge of Skill Development. Nirmala Sitharaman was given Defence.
Nirmala Sitharaman became the Defence Minister to join External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the CCS, apart from the PM.