Nirmala Sitharaman Gets Defence, Piyush Goyal Gets Railways: 10 Facts

New Delhi: Arun Jaitley will keep both the Defence and Finance ministries for now, but could give up Defence after a visit to Japan for which he leaves tonight, sources said. Piyush Goyal will be the new Railways Minister after a cabinet reshuffle today that saw nine new ministers take oath. Mr Goyal has been promoted to Cabinet rank as have Nirmala Sitharaman, Dharmendra Pradhan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.



Here are 10 updates on cabinet reshuffle:
  1. If Mr Jaitley keeps both his ministries, he will be assigned a strong minister of state to help with the Defence portfolio. For now, the Cabinet Committee on Security or CCS will remain unchanged. The committee includes the Prime Minister, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Mr Jaitley as both Defence and Finance Minister.


  1. Arun Jaitley, who was given charge of Defence after Manohar Parrikar resigned in March to go back to Goa as Chief Minister, leaves for Japan tonight to attend an international meeting of Defence Ministers. Sources said any change will happen only once he is back on Tuesday evening. 


  1. Suresh Prabhu, who exits as Rail minister, will get some of the departments that Piyush Goyal held. Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Minority Affairs Minister Muqtar Abbas Naqvi were expected to continue in their departments as Cabinet ministers. 


  1. Changes in PM Modi's cabinet and the portfolios assigned to new ministers will officially be announced shortly. PM Modi has left for China, where he will attend a summit of BRICS nation.



  1. PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah met the new ministers this morning at the Prime Minister's residence. PM Modi reportedly told them to perform and "do a good job." His council of ministers will now have 76 ministers, up from 73. It can maximum have 81 members. 



  1. All the new members of PM Modi's team will be ministers of state. Among them is a former top cop, Mumbai Police chief and BJP lawmaker Satya Pal Singh and three retired bureaucrats - former diplomat Hardeep Puri, ex-IAS officer KJ Alphons and former Home Secretary RK Singh, also a lawmaker. 



  1. The other new ministers include BJP lawmaker from Bihar Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Shiv Pratap Shukla from Uttar Pradesh. Virendra Kumar from Madhya Pradesh, Ananthkumar Hegde from Karnataka and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Rajasthan represent states where elections will be held soon.


  1. Six ministers resigned to make way for the new faces and sources said they were largely pink-slipped over performance, as PM Modi looks to streamline government performance and efficiency ahead of the 2019 national elections when he will seek a second term. 



  1. Government sources said PM Modi based his selection of new members for his team on "4Ps - passion, proficiency, professional and political acumen", to deliver on his vision of "a new India". The new ministers will be strategically deployed in key ministries and will focus on last mile delivery directly to the people, they said.


  1. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is said to be "disappointed" at his party the JDU being left out of today's reshuffle despite joining the BJP's national coalition about two weeks ago. The BJP leadership was unable to construct a formula to please all allies, sources said. Allies will be inducted in another cabinet expansion soon, they said. 




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