Cabinet reshuffle highlights: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman overwhelmed, says, ‘huge responsibility’

Cabinet reshuffle live updates: Nine new ministers have been inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Council of Ministers on Sunday morning and four MoS have been promoted to the Union cabinet. Tap for LIVE updates

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 3, 2017 6:57:26 pm
 Cabinet reshuffle live updates, Narendra Modi, Modi new Cabinet, Modi Council of Ministers Cabinet reshuffle live updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi walks for a Cabinet meeting at Parliament Library in New Delhi. (PTI Photo/File)

Nine ministers have been inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers Sunday morning. The swearing-in ceremony began at 10.45 am at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Four Ministers of State – Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman, Dharmendra Pradhan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi have been moved up to the Cabinet.

After the reshuffle, Nirmala Sitharaman has been appointed as India’s new Defence Minister. Piyush Goyal, meanwhile has been given the charge of Railway ministry. Dharmendra Pradhan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi have also been promoted to Cabinet ranks. While Pradhan has been give the Petroleum and Natural Gas porfolio with additional charge of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Naqvi has been put at the helm of Ministry of Minority Affairs.

Follow highlights of Narendra Modi’s Cabinet reshuffle here:

6:55 pm: “I will join tomorrow, get briefing, will try to understand the department,” Hardeep Singh Puri, new Housing & Urban Affairs Minister said.

6:30 pm:


5:57 pm:
Former Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu congratulated his successor Piyush Goyal. “Piyush Goyal like my younger brother. Have full faith he will bring a new thinking & will be successful in Railway ministry,” he said. Prabhu has been allocated the charge of Commerce ministry.

5:45 pm: Manohar Parrikar who held the charge of Defence Ministry until he was elected as the Chief Minister of Goa said, “Very excellent, well thought out decision. Nirmala is very analytical, deep thinking, hard working & very knowledgeable.”

5:20 pm: “Have to take care of the responsibility given under the leadership of PM,” Ashwini Kumar Choubey, newly appointed MoS Health & Family Welfare said.

4:21 pm: The newly appointed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, she was “overwhelmed and humbled” and would serve the country with something she was “constantly” thinking about. “Somebody who has come from a small town, grown into the party with all the support of the leadership, and if given such responsibility, it just makes you feel sometimes that cosmic grace is there. Otherwise, it is impossible,” she told reporters soon after taking oath.

4:10 pm: Newly appointed Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore extended his gratitude to PM Modi for giving him the charge of an important ministry. “Appeal to all sports federations, lets keep sportsmen as most important person,everything else will fall into place later,” he added.

 Cabinet reshuffle live updates, Narendra Modi, Modi new Cabinet, Modi Council of Ministers Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore

4:06 pm: R K Singh who has been newly appointed as the Minister of state of the Ministry of Power said, “It’s a challenge.PM &party have shown confidence in me to meet this challenge.”

3:55 pm: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also congratulated the ministers on swearing in. “My best wishes & looking forward to support & cooperation for #Odisha,” he said.

3:21 pm: Arun Jaitley, who was the former Defence Minister welcomed Nirmala Sitharaman. “Very significant landmark in this reshuffle is that we now have Nirmala Sitharaman as the new Defence Minister. It is a case where a minister performs well and earns a higher responsibility for herself (Nirmala Sitharaman). I am sure, now that I have an extremely competent successor in Nirmala Sitharaman, she will carry the road forward,” he said to the media.

3:16 pm:

3:14 pm: “Congratulate all the 13 ministers. I hope they work together towards bringing in New India,” Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh was quoted after the reshuffle was announced.

3:00 pm: Shiv Pratap Shukla who was sworn in as Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance today said, “Mujhe kaha gaya hai ki Arun Jaitley ji ke saath rehna hai, unke netritva mein kaam karna hai,” according to news agency ANI. (I have been told to stay with Arun Jaitley. I have to work under his leadership)

Here is the full list:

Narendra Modi
Prime Minister and also in-charge of:
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions;
Department of Atomic Energy;
Department of Space; and
All important policy issues; and
All other portfolios not allocated to any Minister.

CABINET MINISTERS

1. Rajnath Singh
Minister of Home Affairs.

2. Sushma Swaraj
Minister of External Affairs.

3. Arun Jaitley
Minister of Finance; and
Minister of Corporate Affairs.

4. Nitin Jairam Gadkari
Minister of Road Transport and Highways;
Minister of Shipping; and
Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

5. Suresh Prabhu
Minister of Commerce and Industry.

6. D.V. Sadananda Gowda
Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

7. Uma Bharati
Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

8. Ramvilas Paswan
Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

9. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi
Minister of Women and Child Development.

10. Ananthkumar
Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers; and
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.

11. Ravi Shankar Prasad
Minister of Law and Justice; and
Minister of Electronics and Information Technology.

12. Jagat Prakash Nadda
Minister of Health and Family Welfare.

13. Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati
Minister of Civil Aviation.

14. Anant Geete
Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

15. Harsimrat Kaur Badal
Minister of Food Processing Industries.

16. Narendra Singh Tomar
Minister of Rural Development;
Minister of Panchayati Raj; and
Minister of Mines.

17. Chaudhary Birender Singh
Minister of Steel.

18. Jual Oram
Minister of Tribal Affairs.

19. Radha Mohan Singh
Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

20. Thaawar Chand Gehlot
Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.

21. Smriti Zubin Irani
Minister of Textiles; and
Minister of Information and Broadcasting.

22. Harsh Vardhan
Minister of Science and Technology;
Minister of Earth Sciences; and
Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

23. Prakash Javadekar
Minister of Human Resource Development.

24. Dharmendra Pradhan
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; and
Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

25. Piyush Goyal
Minister of Railways; and
Minister of Coal.

26. Nirmala Sitharaman
Minister of Defence.

27. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
Minister of Minority Affairs.

MINISTERS OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE)

1. Rao Inderjit Singh
Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Planning; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.

2. Santosh Kumar Gangwar
Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

3. Shripad Yesso Naik
Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH).

4. Dr. Jitendra Singh
Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region;
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office;
Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions;
Minister of State in the Department of Atomic Energy; and
Minister of State in the Department of Space.

5. Dr. Mahesh Sharma
Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Culture; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

6. Giriraj Singh
Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

7. Manoj Sinha
Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Communications; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways.

8. Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

9. Raj Kumar Singh
Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Power; and
Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

10. Hardeep Singh Puri
Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

11. Alphons Kannanthanam
Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Tourism; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

MINISTERS OF STATE

1. Vijay Goel
Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

2. Radhakrishnan P.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Shipping.

3. S.S. Ahluwalia
Minister of State in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

4. Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi
Minister of State in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

5. Ramdas Athawale
Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

6. Vishnu Deo Sai
Minister of State in the Ministry of Steel.

7. Ram Kripal Yadav
Minister of State in the Ministry of Rural Development.

8. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir
Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

9. Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary
Minister of State in the Ministry of Mines; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Coal.

10. Rajen Gohain
Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways.

11. General (Retd.) V. K. Singh
Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs.

12. Parshottam Rupala
Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.

13. Krishan Pal
Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

14. Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor
Minister of State in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

15. Shiv Pratap Shukla
Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance.

16. Ashwini Kumar Choubey
Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

17. Sudarshan Bhagat
Minister of State in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

18. Upendra Kushwaha
Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

19. Kiren Rijiju
Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

20. Dr. Virendra Kumar
Minister of State in the Ministry of Women and Child Development; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

21. Anantkumar Hegde
Minister of State in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

22. M. J. Akbar
Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs.

23. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti
Minister of State in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

24. Y. S. Chowdary
Minister of State in the Ministry of Science and Technology; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

25. Jayant Sinha
Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

26. Babul Supriyo
Minister of State in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

27. Vijay Sampla
Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

28. Arjun Ram Meghwal
Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Water Resources,
River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

29. Ajay Tamta
Minister of State in the Ministry of Textiles.

30. Krishna Raj
Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

31. Mansukh L. Mandaviya
Minister of State in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways;
Minister of State in the Ministry of Shipping; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.

32. Anupriya Patel
Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

33. C.R. Chaudhary
Minister of State in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

34. P.P. Chaudhary
Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

35. Dr. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre
Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence.

36. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat
Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

37. Dr. Satya Pal Singh
Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Resource Development; and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Water Resources,
River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

1.05 pm: Big breaking news here. Nirmala Sitharaman will take charge as India’s first woman Defence minister after Indira Gandhi. She will, however, take charge in a few days as Arun Jaitley is travelling to Japan to attend a defence related meeting. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had held charge of defence, but it was additional charge. We are also learning that Suresh Prabhu will take charge of the Commerce Ministry, a post Sitharaman held. This will be the first time there are two women in the Cabinet Committee on Security.

12.30 pm: ‘We are watching you’: The Congress Party has tweeted its wishes to the newly inducted ministers.

12.00 pm: The list of portfolios is expected anytime now. The most talked about ministries are railways and defence. With Suresh Prabhu confirming that he is no longer the Railways minister, speculation is rife that Piyush Goyal will be given charge. The question remains as to who will be the next defence minister. If Arun Jaitley continues, then who takes finance? Will he retain both, for now?

Jaitley is slated to travel to Japan tonight for a meeting with his defence counterpart ahead of Shinzo Abe’s planned visit to India later this month.

11.45 am: While the list of portfolios is yet to be announced – Suresh Prabhu has tweeted his thanks to the employees of the Indian Railways, suggesting that he’s on his way out.

11.20 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his wishes to the new members of his cabinet

11.05 am: That’s all from the Rashtrapati Bhawan. We will now wait for the list of portfolios allotted to each minister.

11.00 am: The last three to be inducted into the council of ministers – Lok Sabha MP representing Jodhpur Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Lok Sabha MP from Baghpat Satya Pal Singh and former bureaucrat Alphons Kannanthanam.

10.55 am: Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada Anant Kumar Dattatreya Hegde was the next to take oath as MoS. Following him was Lok Sabha MP from Arrah, Bihar RK Singh and former diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri.

10.52 am: Next is the Ministers of State. We begin with Shiv Pratap Shukla, a Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) from Uttar Pradesh. Following him was Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Lok Sabha MP from Buxar, Bihar) and Virendra Kumar (Lok Sabha MP from Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh).

10. 51 am: The fourth and final addition to the Cabinet list is Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Currently MoS Parliamentary Affairs, it will be interesting to see that role he gets.

10.50 am: Third to take oath was Nirmala Sitharaman. She was MoS Commerce in the Narendra Modi government.

10.47 am: Piyush Goyal also takes oath as Cabinet minister. He was power minister and is considered among the top performers in the Modi government. Speculation is rife that Goyal may get the railways ministry.

10.45 am: First to take oath was Dharmendra Pradhan. He has now be promoted to the Cabinet.

10.40 am: Four ministers are set to get promotions: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan.

10.35 am: What we’ve noticed – Minister Uma Bharti is not present at the swearing-ceremony. There was speculation that she was asked to resign, but she didn’t react to it. Her only response was, ‘go ask Amit Shah’. She is currently a cabinet minister and is hoping to continue.

10.30 am: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The ceremony is set to begin. We are just awaiting the arrival of President Kovind.

10. 25 am: Here is the full list of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ council of ministers. Once the new portfolios are announced, we will bring you the latest. Click to read the full list

10.20 am: Rashtrapati Bhawan is ready for the swearing-in ceremony. All the new ministers have arrived and are seated. We are awaiting the arrival of PM Narendra Modi, following which President Ram Nath Kovind will arrive and begin the ceremony.

10.10 am: What happened to JD(U) and AIADMK? 

There was speculation that members of the JD(U) and AIADMK would be inducted into the council of ministers this reshuffle but if the list of nine new faces is anything to go by, they will have to wait for a while. Reports suggest that there was no consensus on who would get cabinet posts and who would get MoS. So, perhaps, we will have to wait for yet another cabinet reshuffle.

10.00 am: At Rashtrapati Bhawan, there are broad smiles all around. Dharmendra Pradhan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Kailash Vijayvargiya were seen having a quick chat. Also seen was new minister Satya Pal Singh.

9.50 am: Who will be defence minister? Will Arun Jaitley continue as finance minister? Who will get railways? What happens to Suresh Prabhu? These are just some of the questions that will be answered in the next hour when President Ram Nath Kovind administers oath of office to new ministers, following which a new council of ministers will be announced.

9.40 am: BJP chief Amit Shah has left his Akbar Road residence and is headed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official residence. Their meeting, perhaps, is to give final touches to the council of ministers list.

9.33 am: Hardeep Singh Puri has said he is grateful to the PM for inducting him into his team, reports ANI.   

9.25 am: In the third reshuffle since PM Modi took oath of office in 2014, politicians Shukla (Uttar Pradesh), Choubey (Bihar), Virendra Kumar (Madhya Pradesh), Hegde (Uttara Kannade) and Shekhawat (Jodhpur) may have been chosen keeping in mind the political considerations of their states.

9.09 am: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday had put an end to speculation of JD(U) members joining the Union Council of Ministers. Kumar, who had joined the NDA fold last month on the invitation of BJP president Amit Shah, said, “There was no such talks of the JD(U) joining the Union Cabinet. No talks were held on the issue (between the BJP and JD(U)).” In line with him comments, JD(U)’s VN Singh today added, “Our national president had already made it clear, so no question of me or anyone from JD(U) joining the Cabinet.”

9.05 am: Those chosen in today’s Cabinet restructuring have “4P” passion, proficiency, professionalism and political acumen. They are chosed to lead the government towards a “path of progress”, ahead of the 2019 General Elections, according to sources.

8.57 am: We’re running a poll on Twitter ahead of the cabinet reshuffle. Do you think it will improve the functioning of the government? Vote now!

8.53 am: Ahead of the swearing-in ceremong, RK Singh, a Lok Sabha MP from Arrah in Bihar, said, “I thank the PM for expressing confidence in my ability. Portfolio has not been decided yet,” reported ANI.

8.50 am: Last evening, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said it is PM Narendra Modi’s prerogative to decide the portfolios. “It is PM Modi’s prerogative who should be given what responsibility. He is the one to decide on tomorrow’s (Cabinet reshuffle),” he was quoted as saying by ANI.

8.35 am: There are nine new ministers who will be sworn in today. These include Alphons Kannanthanam, A retired IAS officer of 1979 batch. He was a former MLA from in Kerala and joined the BJP in 2011. Hardeep Singh Puri, an IFS officer, joined politics after retirement. He joined the BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The others are Raj Kumar Singh, Satyapal Singh, Shiv Pratap Shukla, Anant Kumar Hegde, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Virendra Kumar and Ashwini Kumar Choubey. Read their complete profiles here

8.22 am: There are six outgoing ministers from the Cabinet, including Kalraj Mishra (MoS MSME), Rajiv Pratap Rudy (MoS Independent Charge of Skill Development), Bandaru Dattatreya (Labour), Faggan Singh Kulaste (MoS Health), Sanjiv Balyan (MoS Water Resources) and Mahendra Nath Pandey (MoS HRD). Pandey was recently named BJP chief of Uttar Pradesh.

Also read | A list of who all entered, exited Modi govt since 2014

8.15 am: Seven of the nine are already MPs. However, Hardeep Singh Puri and Alphons Kannanthanam, both ex-bureaucrats, need to be elected to Parliament within six months. Remember, the BJP could send them to the Rajya Sabha as seats have been vacated by Vankaiah Naidu and Parrikar.

8.05 am: Sources told The Indian Express that the exact nature of the reshuffle and the distribution of portfolios, including if the nine get Cabinet, MoS (Independent Charge) or Minister of State rank, will only be made clear after the swearing-in.

“The new ministers come from varied walks of life, bringing in their unique professional perspective and proficiency to the Council. Many of them also bring rich administrative and governance experience, and will be strategically placed in key ministries, especially focusing on last-mile delivery directly to the people,” a government source said.

8.00 am: Welcome to our live blog on the Cabinet reshuffle, set to take place this morning at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Confirming the swearing-in ceremony, President Ram Nath Kovind had tweeted on Saturday, “Swearing-in ceremony of new ministers of the Union government will take place at 10.30 am on Sunday, September 3, at Rashtrapati Bhavan.”

The nine ministers inducted into the council of ministers are: Shiv Pratap Shukla (Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh), Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Lok Sabha MP from Buxar, Bihar), Virendra Kumar (Lok Sabha MP from Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh), Anant Kumar Dattatreya Hegde (Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada), R K Singh (Lok Sabha MP from Arrah, Bihar), Hardeep Singh Puri (ex-diplomat), Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (Lok Sabha MP from Jodhpur), Satya Pal Singh (Lok Sabha MP from Baghpat), and Alphons Kannanthanam (ex-bureaucrat).

In the run up to the shuffle, six ministers “volunteered to resign”. Apart from this, key posts were vacant after the exit of Manohar Parrikar and Venkaiah Naidu, and the death of Anil Madhav Dave, who held Independent Charge of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

(With inputs from agencies)

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