Amit Shah is India’s new Home Minister, Rajnath gets Defence

Amit Shah

BJP President Amit Shah who played a crucial role in the return of his party’s government at the Centre will be the new Home Minister in Modi 2.0 Cabinet while incumbent Rajnath Singh has moved to Defence, another high profile ministry.

Outgoing Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be the new Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs while surprise inductee, former foreign secretary S Jaishankar, has been allocated the critical Ministry of External Affairs, the Rashtrapati Bhavan announced on Friday.

Jaishankar is the first career diplomat to take charge of the External Affairs ministry.

Sitharaman steps into the shoes of Arun Jaitley who opted out of new government on health grounds. She will have a deputy in Anurag Thakur, a first time minister in the Modi government. Both are considered close to Jaitley.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will retain the Department of Personnel and Training, Atomic Energy and Space as well as all important policy issues and portfolios not allocated.

Modi was sworn in on Thursday as prime minister for a second term, helming a 58-member team of ministers, including him and BJP president Amit Shah who makes his debut in the Central government.

Giant slayer Smriti Irani, who defeated Congress President Rahul Gandhi in his family bastion of Amethi, will be the new Women and Child Development minister along with retaining the Textile ministry, according to a communiqu issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Nitin Gadkari, considered one of the best performers during the first term of Modi government for his expeditious project implementation, will continue to be the minister for Road Transport and Highways and has also been given charge of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

Piyush Goyal, who was presented the interim budget earlier this year and was expected to take over from Jaitley, has been given the Commerce and Industry ministry in addition to his old charge of Railways.

However, the Coal ministry has been taken away from him and given to Pralhad Joshi, a new entrant in Modi Government.

Joshi will also be the minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Mines. Ravi Shankar Prasad will continue as minister of Law and Information Technology.

He also gets Telecom, a portfolio he commanded in the first half of Modi 1.0 government. A new Ministry of Jal Shakti has been created and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat will be its minister. Ujjwala-man Dharmendra Pradhan retains his Petroleum portfolio and has also been given charge of the Steel ministry.

Former Uttarkhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhariyal ‘Nishank’ is the new Human Resource Development minister while Bihar ally and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswam remains Consumer Affairs minister.

The Agriculture ministry has been allocated to Narendra Singh Tomar who also gets the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj portfolio. Prakash Javadekar has been given the ministries of Information and Broadcasting as well as Environment.

D V Sadananda Gowda will be the minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Narendra Singh Tomar will be the new minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal continues to be the minister of Food Processing Industries, Thawar Chand Gehlot will be new minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Former diplomat Hardeep Puri will be new minister of state with Independent charge of Civil Aviation while former IAS bureaucrat R K Singh will retain the ministries of Power and Renewable Energy in the same capacity.

Eight-term BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh Santosh Kumar Gangwar will be MoS with Independent charge for Labour and Employment.

The BJP capped a massive mandate by winning a total of 303 seats while the NDA has 353 MPs in the recently elected 17th Lok Sabha.