Parrikar congratulates Sitharaman on becoming first woman Defence Minister
Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday congratulated his party colleague Nirmala Sitharaman on being appointed the country’s first full-fledged woman Defence Minister.
“Many congratulations to @nsitharaman Ji on becoming India’s next & first full time woman Defence Minister. Wish her all the best,” Parrikar, a former Defence Minister in the Narendra Modi government, tweeted soon after she was sworn-in as cabinet minister and allocated the portfolio.
Parrikar, who served as Defence Minister from 2014 to 2017, returned to state politics after the Goa Assembly elections earlier this year. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was holding additional charge of the key ministry.
Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had twice held charge of Defence.
Gadkari gets Water Resources, Ganga Rejuvenation
Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari was on Sunday also allocated portfolios of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
Uma Bharti, who had these portfolios, has now been given charge of Drinking Water and Sanitation which was held by Narendra Singh Tomar.
Tomar, who retains his other portfolios of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, has also been given Mines, which was earlier with Piyush Goyal, now the new Railways Minister.
Harsh Vardhan, who was given charge of Environment Ministry after death of Anil Madhav Dave earlier this year, retains the portfolio, while Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who held Minority Affairs as Minister of State (Independent Charge), has been elevated to cabinet status with the same responsibility.
Piyush Goyal gets Railways, Prabhu shifted to Commerce and Industry
Piyush Goyal, who on Sunday was elevated to the rank of a Cabinet Minister in a reshuffle, was given the charge of railways while incumbent minister Suresh Prabhu was shifted to the Commerce and Industry ministry.
Goyal, who was Minister of State with independent charge, held Coal and Power Ministry before his elevation.
The exit of Prabhu from the railways came after last months Muzaffarnagar train accident that claimed 23 lives. His tenure saw several accidents in the last three years, latest being two major derailments within a gap of four days.
According to official data, over 370 major train accidents occurred under Prabhu’s watch, including the Indore-Patna Express, Hirakhand Express derailment, the dual accidents of Kamayani and Janata Express trains and the latest Utkal Express derailment that cumulatively claimed the lives of at least 250 persons and injuring several hundred.
Goyal, a Chartered Accountant by profession, has been articulate in defending the Narendra Modi government specially after the demonetisation decision.
He also oversaw the BJP’s publicity and advertising campaign including the social media outreach during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.