Nirmala Sitharaman Is New Defence Minister, Piyush Goyal Gets Railways

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Update: Smriti Irani is new Information and Broadcasting Minister.

* Suresh Prabhu gets the Commerce Ministry.

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* Nirmala Sitharaman is new Defence Minister, Piyush Goyal gets Railways.

* My programs were already fixed, I am not angry: Uma Bharti on not attending Cabinet reshuffle oath ceremony

* Former bureaucrat Alphons Kannanthanam says he is at the top of the world after being inducted into Modi’s ministry. “Modi’s government has a new agenda of new India…that’s a great agenda.”

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expanded his council of ministers, elevating four to the Cabinet and inducting nine new faces as Ministers of State.

Nirmala Sitharaman will be the country’s new Defence Minister while Piyush Goyal will be the new Railways Minister after a cabinet reshuffle today that saw nine new ministers take oath. Ms Sitharaman and Mr Goyal too took oath after being promoted to cabinet rank along with Dharmendra Pradhan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

The third in the Modi government, it is the crucial Cabinet reshuffle ahead of Assembly Elections in a few states and 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Suresh Prabhu says goodbye to `Rail family`, Piyush Goyal likely to get Railways.

Nirmala Sitharaman will be the first woman Defence Minister of the country. Indira Gandhi had held the department when she was Prime Minister.

Arun Jaitley gives up Defence and will retain the Finance Ministry. He will however attend an international meeting of Defence Ministers in Japan, for which he leaves tonight.

As four ministers were elevated to Cabinet rank and nine new Ministers of State were inducted on Sunday, sources have told Times Now that Union Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to retain the Defence Ministry along with the Finance portfolio.

Also, Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal, who took oath as Cabinet minister, will be given the Railway Minister.

It may be noted that current Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had ‘offered to resign’ in the wake of a spate of train derailments recently.

Sources said Suresh Prabhu may get the environment or power portfolio.Hardeep Singh Puri, a former IFS officer who was also sworn-in today, is likely to become the Minister of State for Commerce or for Defence.

The new ministers and those elevated to the cabinet were sworn in by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The selection of nine new names for ministership has reportedly been done by the PM keeping in view the 4Ps — passion, proficiency, professional and political acumen, to deliver on his vision of a new India.