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Cabinet committees rejigged: Mandaviya, Sonowal, Irani part of key panel, no allies

Crucial ministries, including Rural Development, Railways, and Petroleum and Natural Gas, which were represented in the earlier CCEA, have been left out this time.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi |
July 14, 2021 4:18:22 am
Sonowal, inducted in CCPA, with Om Birla Tuesday. (Photo: PTI)

DAYS AFTER expanding the cabinet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reconstituted the cabinet committees, trimming the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and bringing in five new members as part of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA).

Crucial ministries, including Rural Development, Railways, and Petroleum and Natural Gas, which were represented in the earlier CCEA, have been left out this time.

While Union ministers Smriti Irani, Bhupender Yadav, Sarbananda Sonowal, Giriraj Singh and Mansukh Mandaviya have been brought in as new members of the CCPA, there are no representatives from the alliance partners. In the past, the CCPA included Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD) and Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena). Both the SAD and Shiv Sena left the NDA last year.

The other ministers who remain part of the CCPA headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are: Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Pralhad Joshi.

The CCEA, which had 12 members earlier, now has nine: Modi, Rajnath Singh (Defence), Amit Shah (Home), Nitin Gadkari (Road Transport and Highways), Nirmala Sitharaman (Finance and Corporate Affairs), Narendra Singh Tomar (Agriculture and Farmers Welfare), S Jaishankar (External Affairs), Piyush Goyal (Commerce and Industry; Consumer Affairs; Food and Public Distribution; Textiles) and Dharmendra Pradhan (Education; Skill Development and Entrepreneurship).

The Cabinet Committee on Security, the highest decision making body on security affairs, and the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, which decides all important government appointments in the rank of joint secretary and above, remain unchanged.

Modi, Shah, Rajnath Singh, Sitharaman and Jaishankar constitute the CCS. The two-member Appointments Committee of the Cabinet comprises the Prime Minister and the Home Minister.

Union Ministers Virendra Kumar, Kiren Rijiju and Anurag Singh Thakur have been included in the rejigged Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs headed by Rajnath Singh. Ministers of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal and V Muraleedharan are special invitees, according to a notification issued by the Cabinet Secretariat on Monday night.

The new members of the Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth headed by the Prime Minister are: Narayan Rane (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), Jyotiraditya Scindia (Civil Aviation), and Ashwini Vaishnaw (Communications; Electronics and Information Technology).

The Cabinet Committee on Accommodation has Shah, Gadkari, Sitharaman, Goyal and Hardeep Puri (Petroleum and Natural Gas; Housing and Urban Affairs) as members, and Minister of State (independent charge) Jitendra Singh (Science and Technology; Earth Sciences; PMO) as special invitee.

Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and Bhupender Yadav are the additions in the Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development, headed by Modi. The special invitees for this committee are Gadkari, Ramchandra Prasad Singh (Steel), G Kishan Reddy (Culture, Tourism; Development of North Eastern Region).

Besides Rajnath, Shah and Sitharaman, who are part of every committee, Goyal is a member of the most number of panels – CCEA, CCPA, Cabinet Committee on Accommodation, Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth, Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development.

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