Cabinet Reshuffle: Nirmala Sitharaman Is New Defence Minister, Piyush Goyal Gets Railways

9 new ministers join Modi govt; 4 elevated as Cabinet mins

Significantly, while Sitharaman is ranked 26 in the Cabinet hierarchy, she is the first among the third generation to be a part of the prestigious Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which also includes Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, apart from the Prime Minister.

Goyal has been given charge of the railway ministry to take forward reforms initiated by Suresh Prabhu towards corporatization of railways, monetization of the transporter's assets and boosting non-fare revenue to deliver tangible outcomes, analysts said.

Nirmala Sitharaman, who was elevated to Cabinet rank today, will be the country's new defence minister.

While speaking on Piyush Goyal as his successor, Prabhu said the former is like younger brother to him and Goyal will bring a new thinking and would be successful. Sources say that with Mr Gadkari in charge of the water ministry, the state may now get a bigger share of funds from the union government.

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Pradhan and Naqvi retained their portfolios of Oil and Gas and Minority Affairs respectively. Mr Pradhan was given the additional charge of Skill Development Ministry. Former Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh has been made minister of state in HRD, Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvination.

Odisha is among the states high on the priority list of party chief Amit Shah for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Mr Goel, who earlier held independent charge, has been shunted as the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics and Programme Implementation.

The Prime Minister also reposed faith in the administrative capabilities of three former government officials by giving them independent charge of crucial portfolios. Mr Rathore will also continue as MoS at I&B.

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