Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal emerged as two biggest gainers in the Cabinet reshuffle today as Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave them the heavyweight Defence and Railways portfolios respectively. Sitharaman, who was holding the Commerce portfolio (Independent charge), was today promoted to the Cabinet rank as were Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
Goyal, who retained the power ministry, replaced Suresh Prabhu, who had earlier offered to resign as Railway Minister after a series of derailments. Prabhu has been shifted to commerce and industry ministry.
Another gainer in the latest round of reshuffle was Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who was given the additional charges of the water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, which was with Uma Bharti. Bharti has been shifted to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavrdhan Rathore too gained after the rejig and got the Sports portfolio (independent charge). Santosh Kumar Gangwar too gained and got the Labour and Employment Ministry with independent charge. He was serving as the MoS finance.
Among others, Giriraj Singh got the Independent charge of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. He was serving as the MoS in the ministry.
Smriti Irani retained her Information and Broadcasting Ministry besides the Textiles Ministry. She was given the additional charge of Information and Broadcasting Ministry in July after M Venkaiah Naidu was named NDA’s vice presidential candidate.
Cabinet minister Harsh Vardhan, who was given the additional charge of the Environment Ministry following the demise of Anil Dave in May, continues to hold the portfolio. Vijay Goyal, who was stripped off the Sports portfolio, is seen as the loser in the reshuffle as he will now serve as the junior minister in Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics and Programme Implementation.
Mahesh Sharma has to give away the portfolio of tourism (independent). He retains the Culture Ministry (independent charge) and will also work as the Minister of State of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.