FOLLOWING THE reshuffle on Sunday, the five-member Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will have two women ministers — External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley are the other members of the CCS. After Manohar Parrikar’s exit as Defence Minister in March this year, the CCS strength was down to four members as Jaitley was given additional charge of the Defence Ministry.
Besides the CCS, a few other Cabinet committees and at least half-a-dozen parliamentary standing committees will also undergo changes. 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. Meghwal and Goel are also likely to replace Naqvi and Ahluwalia as special invitees in the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
Sitharaman will also become a member of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs and Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. With the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs going to Minister of State (Independent Charge) Hardeep Singh Puri, he is likely to be brought in to the CCEA only as a special invitee. Unlike his predecessor, M Venkaiah Naidu, who was a CCEA member before he became Vice-President last month.
Naidu was also a part of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Accommodation and Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs. All these Cabinet committees were reconstituted on July 14 last year, following a Cabinet reshuffle.
With Virendra Kumar and Satya Pal Singh becoming ministers, two parliamentary standing committees will have new chairpersons. Kumar was the chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour, and Singh headed the Joint Committee on Offices of Profit. Singh was also a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs.
Shiv Pratap Shukla, who has become Minister of State, Finance, was a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development, while Ashwini Kumar Choubey, who has become Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Estimates and Standing Committee on Energy.
Anantkumar Hegde, the new Minister of State in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, was a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs and Human Resource Development. Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Power and New and Renewable Energy, was a member of two Parliamentary Standing Committees — Health and Family Welfare, and Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice.
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, was a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance. The BJP will have to send new members to these parliamentary committees. Since the tenure of most of these committees came to an end in August, they are set to be reconstituted this month.