Modi reshuffles cabinet: A fulltime woman Defense Minister

Lucy Hill
September 3, 2017

Newly appointed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday hailed the presence of two women members in the crucial Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

Springing yet another surprise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made former Commerce Minister of State Nirmala Sitharaman the new Defence Minister of India.

There was no immediate word on whether Modi would appoint a new defence minister since Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is holding that charge and has said he would like to focus on the economic management.

Sitharaman became the second woman to head the Defence Ministry after Indira Gandhi when she was Prime Minister. She is credited with being tough, efficient and articulate.

The private sector companies have high hopes from the new minister, who could accelerate the government's "Make in India" programme that could prepare the ground for them to form joint ventures with the ministry to provide defence equipment.

Another gainer in the latest round of reshuffle was Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who was given the additional charges of the water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, which was with Uma Bharti.

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As a spokesperson of the main opposition party at that time, Sitharaman, with her clear command of issues and straight approach, came in the limelight soon.

The promotion of Naqvi, Pradhan, Sitharaman and Goyal, who were all Ministers of State with independent charge, is an endorsement of their good performance, official sources said.

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

Santosh Kumar Gangwar too gained and got the Labour and Employment Ministry with independent charge.

Pradhan is known to have spearheaded one of Prime Minister Modi's main schemes - the "Give it Up" plan for people to forego subsidised cooking gas or LPG voluntarily. All the new Ministers are from the BJP as its allies were not part of the exercise. Here's a list of new Cabinet Ministers and Minister of State.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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