Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers went through a major revamp on Wednesday with several key portfolios including health, railways and information and technology going to new ministers and junior ministers. The current reshuffle is seen as a course correction following questions on the government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
As many as 34 new ministers were sworn in and 12 sitting ministers were shown the door, taking the overall tally of Council of Minister to 78, and boosting the number of cabinet ministers from 21 to 30 and the number of junior ministers from 23 to 45.
One of the major changes that caught everyone’s attention was the exit of Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. He has been replaced by Mansukh Mandaviya who will also take the charge of Minister of Chemical Fertilizers along with the Health Ministry.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was waiting for a minister berth ever since crossing over to BJP from Congress and helping BJP to form a government in Madhya Pradesh, has been given the charge of Civil aviation Ministry.
Former Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has been given charge of the Ports, Shipping and Waterways portfolio. During the tenure of NDA I, Sonowal handled the Sports and Youth affairs Ministry.
New entrant Ashwini Vaishnaw has been given charge of Railways and IT ministry. He is a Rajya Sabha MP from Odisha and holds MBA from Wharton University and an MTech from IIT Kanpur. Vaishnaw will take over Rail Ministry from Piyush Goyal and replace Ravi Shankar Prasad as the new IT minister.
Kiren Rijiju, who handled the Sports ministry along with the Ayush Ministry and was also Minister of State for Minority Affairs, has been the charge of the Law and Justice Ministry.
Anurag Singh Thakur, who was serving as junior minister of finance and corporate affairs, will take the charge of Information and Broadcasting Ministry. He will take over the charge of Youth Affairs and Sports.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane has also been inducted as a cabinet minister and will take charge of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
After the resignation of Ramesh Pokhriyal due to health reasons, the Education Ministry has gone to Dharmendra Pradhan.
JDU’s Ramchandra Prasad Singh has given charge of the Ministry of Steel. Whereas, Pashupati Parasm has been given Food Processing industries portfolio. He is the brother of Late Ram Vilas Paswan and is currently in a feud with Chirag Paswas over the Lok Janshakti Party,
Hardeep Singh Puri has been given charge of the Petroleum Ministry and Urban Development Ministry. He previously served as the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs and Civil Aviation and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry,
Bhupender Yadav has given Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Labour and Employment ministries.
G Kishan Reddy will handle the Culture, Tourism and Development of the North Eastern Region portfolios.