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Plum portfolios assigned to many first-time ministers in Modi government


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Modi government on Friday assigned plum portfolios to many of the first-time ministers in a sign that the newly-elected regime wants to use fresh thinking when it comes to important policy decisions.
First time ministers such as S Jaishankar, Amit Shah and Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' have been assigned the important ministries of External Affairs, Home and Human Resource Development, respectively, according to a government press release issued on Friday.
Another first-timer Anurag Thakur, 44, one of the youngest in the Modi government, has been given the plum post of Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs.
Similarly, 53-year old Nityanand Rai -- who is Bihar BJP President with no experience in the central government -- was made Minister of State for Home on Friday.
Rai would be junior minister in the Home Ministry under BJP chief Amit Shah, who is also taking a ministerial position in the central government for the first time.
G Kishan Reddy -- who won the Lok Sabha elections from Secunderabad in Telangana -- has also been made a junior minister in the Home Ministry.
From Friday onwards, it will be the first innings as Union ministers for a total of six Cabinet ministers and 13 ministers of state in the Modi government.
Former Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer Jaishankar, who is currently not a Member of Parliament, has been assigned the charge of Minister of External Affairs, the government press release said.
The 1997-batch IFS officer was the Secretary at Ministry of External Affairs from January 2015 to January 2018. Thereafter, in April last year, he joined Tata Sons as the President of Global Corporate Affairs.
It is expected that the BJP will elect Jaishankar to the upper house of Parliament soon. Another first-timer V Muraleedharan, who used to be Kerala BJP chief, would be Jaishankar's junior minister at the Ministry of External Affairs.
First-time minister Som Prakash, who won the elections from the Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha constituency, has been given the portfolio of a junior minister in the Ministry of Commerce.
Four-time MP from Karnataka's Belagavi, Suresh Angadi, 63, has been given the charge of junior minister in the Ministry of Railways. He has never hold any ministerial position in the central government before.
Both Prakash and Angadi will be working under Piyush Goyal, who has been made Minister of Railways and Commerce and Industry.
Besides Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there are 57 ministers in the newly sworn in Union Council of ministers.

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First Published: May 31 2019 | 10:40 PM IST

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