03 Sep 2017 15:41 IST

Sitharaman gets Defence, Goyal made Railways Minister

Naqvi retains minority affairs portfolio, Pradhan oil and gas

Nirmala Sitharaman emerged as the biggest gainer of the Cabinet reshuffle today as Prime Minister Modi gave her the heavyweight Defence portfolio, while Piyush Goyal replaced Suresh Prabhu in the Railway Ministry in a major rejig, which saw nine new faces being inducted.

Sitharaman became the first woman Defence Minister of the country since Indira Gandhi held the charge.

Sitharaman, who was holding the commerce portfolio as a Minister of State, was elevated along with Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to Cabinet rank.

As the Defence Minister, Sitharaman will be a member of the crucial Cabinet Committee on Security whose members include the Prime Minister, Home Minister, External Affairs Minister and the Finance Minister.

Prabhu was shifted to the Commerce and Industry Ministry, while Pradhan and Naqvi retained their portfolios of Oil and Gas and Minority Affairs respectively. Goyal will continue to head the Coal Ministry along with Railways.

Modi stripped Cabinet Minister Uma Bharti of the charges of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation and handed them over to Nitin Gadkari.

Bharti will take care of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

Pradhan was given additional charge of the Skill Development Ministry.

The Prime Minister also reposed faith in the administrative capabilities of three former government officials by giving them independent charge of crucial portfolios.

Former diplomat Hardeep Puri and former IAS officer Alphons Kannanthanam have been made MoS (Independent charge) of Housing and Urban Development and Tourism respectively.

RK Singh, former Home Secretary, was given charge of the Power and New and Renewable Energy portfolios. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore replaced Vijay Goel in the Sports Ministry.

Goel, who earlier held independent charge, has been shunted as the Minister of State for Parliamentary Afairs and Statistics and Programme Implementation.

Nirmala Sitharaman will be India's first full-time woman Defence Minister and the second woman to hold this post after Indira Gandhi, who held additional charge.

Suresh Prabhu gets Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Piyush Goyal gets Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Coa

Dharmendra Pradhan gets additional charge of Skill Development Ministry

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is Minister of Minority Affairs

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

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

Uma Bharti is Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation. Her previous portfolio of Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation has been given to Nitin Gadkari

Rajyavardhan Rathore is Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

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

RK Singh IS MoS (Independent) in Power Ministry

Shiv Pratap Shukla, Ashwini Choubey, Virendra Kumar made MoS in Finance, Health and Women and Child Development respectively

Anantkumar Hegde made MoS in Skill Development Ministry

Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) from Uttar Pradesh, Shiv Pratap Shukla, and Lok Sabha MP from Buxar, Bihar, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, were sworn in as a Ministers of State.

Others who were sworn in include Lok Sabha MP from Tikamgah, Madhya Pradesh, Virendra Kumar; Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada, Karnataka, Anantkumar Hegde; and Lok Sabha MP from Arrah, Bihar, Raj Kumar Singh.

A former IFS officer of the 1974 batch, Hardeep Singh Puri and a IAS officer of the 1979 batch, Alphons Kannanthanam were sworn in as ministers too.

Lok Sabha MP from Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat; and Lok Sabha MP from Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, Satya Pal Singh were also sworn in.

Prabhu bids farewell to Rail Ministry

Cabinet Minister Suresh Prabhu has bid adieu to his portfolio of the Railway Ministry and tweeted, "Thanks to all 13 Lacs+ rail family for their support, love, goodwill. I will always cherish these memories with me. Wishing u all a great life."

Extending his congratulations on the swearing in of new ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "I congratulate all those who have taken oath today. Their experience & wisdom will add immense value to the Council of Ministers."

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