Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday shuffled his pack of the members of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) by allocating Home Ministry to BJP chief Amit Shah and assigning the crucial portfolio of Defence to Rajnath Singh. While Nirmala Sitharaman has been assigned Finance, the new entrant to the government, former diplomat S Jaishankar, has been made the External Affairs Minister.
Assigning Home portfolio to Shah holds significance for the internal security issues before the country. A staunch believer in BJP’s ideology, Shah will now be tackling the issues related to Jammu & Kashmir, Citizenship Amendments Bill and NRC as well as Naxal challenges before the country. Shah will also be handling the centre-state relationship and will control Delhi Police which has been used as an irritant by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal against the Central government.
While most ministers from the previous ministry have retained their portfolios, some major upgrades appear to be Finance going to Nirmala Sitharaman while Piyush Goyal has been assigned Commerce portfolio along with his previous responsibility of Railways. Likewise, Narendra Singh Tomar has got Agriculture with the Rural Development portfolio he held in the previous ministry. Ravi Shankar Prasad too has got the portfolio of Communication with the Law and IT that he held in the previous government. Dharmendra Pradhan has got Steel portfolio added to his previous Petroleum portfolio.
In a major juggle, HRD ministry has been given to former Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank, the previous incumbent Prakash Javadekar has got Environment and Information and Broadcasting portfolios.
The two ministers of state – Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Giriraj Singh – who were upgraded to Cabinet rank in this government has got the portfolios of Jal Shakti and Animal Husbandry ministries respectively.
Among the new Cabinet ministers, Mahendra Nath Pandey has been assigned Skill Development while Prahlad Joshi has been made the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs along with ministries of Coal and Mines.
Cabinet ministers from previous ministry – Ram Vilas Paswan, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi – have been entrusted with their portfolios from the previous government – Food and Public Distribution, Food Processing Industries, Social Justice and Minority Affairs, respectively.
Among the Ministers of State (Independent Charge) Santosh Gangwar, Rao Inderjit Singh, Shripad Yesso Naik, Jitendra Singh, RK Singh and Hardeep Puri have been retained with their ministries from the previous government. Kiren Rijiju has been made the minister for Youth Affairs, Prahlad Patel will be looking after Culture and Tourism.
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