New Delhi (Sputnik): A day after Narendra Modi was sworn-in as Indian prime minster for a second term, his new Council of Ministers was allocated portfolios on Friday.
While some of the top ministerial portfolios have been exchanged, there are some new faces who have been inducted into the Modi government 2.0.
The allocation of portfolios was directed by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on the advice of Prime Minister Modi as per the rules. Here is a list of some of the important portfolios and the people entrusted to take charge of them.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 30, 2019
Union Cabinet Ministers
Minister of Home Affairs
Amit Shah — Having been a member of Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since his adolescence, Shah embarked upon his political career as a leader of the student wing of the RSS in 1983. As the president of governing Bharatiya Janata Party, he has so far been viewed as the second most powerful person in the party after Modi. He has been Modi's key aide throughout his political career. From 1989 to 2019, Shah has contested 28 elections at various levels without ever losing any of them.
S. Jaishankar — Having served as India's foreign secretary from January 2015 to January 2018, former diplomat Jaishankar is the biggest surprise in Modi's new cabinet for many. He has never been a part of the BJP. Holding a rich experience in diplomacy after serving as an Indian Foreign Service officer since 1977, he replaces former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Minister of Finance
Nirmala Sitharaman — Having served as the defence minister in the previous government, Sitharaman has now received the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs. She is a graduate in economics and has previously been the national spokesperson of the BJP. She replaces senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley in the new role. Jaitley has opted out of the new team, citing his health condition.
Minister of Defence
Rajnath Singh — A former president of the BJP, Rajnath Singh, who was the union home minister during the first term of the Narendra Modi government, has been given the Defence Ministry. The ministry drew major attention in the recently held parliamentary polls over the Rafale jet purchase. He will be overseeing the induction of 36 Rafale jets in the Indian Air Force. The purchasing of the jets created a furore in the parliament, with opposition party the Indian National Congress making claims of corruption in the deal.
Minister for Women and Child Development
Smriti Irani — A former TV actress, Smriti Irani has earned praise as the proverbial giant-killer for defeating Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the main opposition party Congress, on his home turf for the first time in a national election. She has received the Women and Child Development Ministry, as well as her previous Textiles Ministry. She has previously served as human resource development minister, textiles minister and information and broadcasting minister.
Among other notable Union Cabinet ministers, one of the heavyweight leaders of the BJP, Nitin Gadkari, a former BJP president, has been given the portfolio of minister for road transport and highways as well as minister of micro, small and medium enterprises. He has earlier served as minister for road transport and highways, shipping and water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation in the previous Modi dispensation, while Ravi Shankar Prasad, a senior BJP leader from Bihar, who has been a chief spokesperson of the BJP, will look after the Ministries of Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology in the new scheme of things
Minister of State for MSME and Animal Husbandry
Pratap Sarangi — Sarangi, a social worker from the state of Odisha, has been known all over for his simplicity of life. However, he has reportedly opened many schools in tribal areas. For his commendable services to society, Sarangi is even being hailed as "Odisha's Modi". He is the one who received the loudest cheer at the swearing in ceremony on Thursday. Sarangi has been given the post of minister of state for the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Animal Husbandry.