New Delhi: It’s not been even a month since Smriti Irani was unceremoniously moved out of the high-profile Information and Broadcasting ministry. Now she’s also been removed from the NITI Ayog as a special invitee.
Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani has been removed from the NITI Aayog as a special invitee less than a month. A notification by the Cabinet Secretariat made public the changes in NITI Aayog on Thursday stating that Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had replaced the former I&B minister as the special invitee.
Irani had lost her Information and Broadcasting portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle on 14 May. The I&B ministry’s charge was given to Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who worked as Irani’s deputy in the ministry in the past.
Minister of State (Planning) Rao Inderjit Singh has found a place in NITI Ayog as ex-officio member. Reports said that the recent changes had the approval of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This assumes significance given that the next meeting of NITI Aayog’s governing council is scheduled for 17 June, when Modi himself will chair the meeting.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who was Irani’s deputy minister under I&B ministry, was given independent charge of the ministry. She was inducted to NITI Aayog when she was the HRD Minister, but Irani was retained as special invitee even after her transfer out of the ministry.
The next meeting of Niti Aayog will be held on June 17th, which will be chaired by PM Modi. After a series of controversies including that about awarding Padma awards, Smriti Irani was stripped off the high-profile I&B Ministry on May 15th. She retains the relatively low-profile Textile Ministry.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore who has impressed one and all as Sports Minister was also made the I&B Minister by PM Narendra Modi. Smriti Irani was part of Niti since her HRD Ministry days. But her run as a special invitee to the policy body has finally come to an end.