Cabinet reshuffle: PM Modi rewards performers; some party leaders sulk

Under Goyal India’s Power Sector Staged A Turnaround

Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said he was leaving the post of defence minister in the hands of an "extremely competent successor" as he congratulated Nirmala Sitharaman on the appointment. Singh was a former police chief of India's financial and entertainment hub Mumbai who is credited with taking on the city's infamous underworld gangs in 1990s.

While Modi has focussed on governance, he has also taken care of the BJP's political considerations. Kerala has a fairly good presence of Muslims and Christians. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore got a promotion when he was given the portfolio of Youth Affairs and Sports with independence charge which was taken away from Vijay Goel.

Goel, who earlier held independent charge, has been shunted as the Minister of State for Parliamentary Afairs and Statistics and Programme Implementation. The renewable energy too is in transition mode to make dipping and fluctuating prices a new normal.

"I am thankful to Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shahji for entrusting me with this responsibility".

In addition, Shiv Pratap Shukla (Uttar Pradesh), Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Bihar), Virendra Kumar (Madhya Pradesh), Anant Kumar Hegde (Karnataka) and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (Rajasthan) were sworn in as Ministers of States.

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Four of the nine new ministers appointed by Modi are retired bureaucrats, including K J Alphons, known as Delhi's demolition man for launching a crackdown on illegal structures in the capital despite facing intense political pressure. The reshuffle exercise seems to have worked clearly as a mid-term appraisal of Modi's council of ministers. Asserting that elevation to Defence Ministry was a big responsibility, Sitharaman said she was "very grateful" for the confidence the Prime Minister has on her. Sitharaman also made statements about Modi's commitment towards women empowerment.

Senior BJP leaders said her stint as both spokesperson and commerce minister, where trade issues require deft handling, showed Sitharaman was a fast learner and chose her words with care. Having served as BJP general secretary and vice-president before he was drafted into the government, the Cabinet rank is being seen as recognition for Naqvi's steadfast commitment to the party.

On Uma Bharti being divested of the Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation portfolio, he quipped, referring to the title of a Hindi film and song, "Ram teri Ganga maili ho gayi - BJP ke paap dhote dhote (The Ganga has already been contaminated by the sins of the BJP)".

She along with Goyal - who is new Railways minister - need to speed up the reforms in the respective ministries.

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