With this, Sitharaman becomes the first full-time female Defence Minister. Sitharaman was given the Defence portfolio after Prime Minister decided to go for cabinet reshuffle on Sunday.
Nirmala Sitharaman today took over charge as Defence Minister of the country. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was present there to hand over the baton. With this, Sitharaman becomes the first full-time female Defence Minister. Sitharaman was given the Defence portfolio after Prime Minister decided to go for cabinet reshuffle on Sunday. Sitharaman was earlier Minister of State (Independent Charge) Commerce. Talking to media after taking charge, Sitharaman stressed on ‘Make in India’, saying the country will benefit from what is manufactured in India and eventually those products will also find an international market. Sitharaman thanked PM Modi for vesting confidence in her and entrusting her with such critical portfolio. She said that Armed forces and their families will be her priorities. “Armed Forces’ families is a priority. It’s in their welfare that we ensure soldiers remain assured their interests being taken care of,” said the newly appointed Defence Minister.
Earlier, Sitharaman had credited her elevation to a cabinet rank minister to “cosmic grace” and support from party leadership. “Somebody who has come from a small town, grown into the party with all the support of the leadership, and if given such responsibility, it just makes you feel sometimes that cosmic grace is there. Otherwise, it is impossible,” she told reporters here after taking the oath.
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She said that she was “overwhelmed and humbled” and would serve the country with something she was “constantly” thinking about. “I am just overwhelmed and humbled. I can serve the country with something which is constantly on the top of my mind,” she said. Stressing that it was a big responsibility, Sitharaman said she was “very grateful” for the confidence the Prime Minister has in her.