May 22, 2018, 11:27 am IST
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Minor Union Cabinet reshuffle

Minor Union Cabinet reshuffle

 May 15, 2018

With Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, advised rest after the kidney transplant, Prime Minister has given the additional charge of Finance to Piyush Goyal, a promotion recognizing his merit and demoted Smriti Irani and Alphons Kannanthanam.

Smriti Irani is stripped off the important portfolio of Information and Broadcasting Ministry, promoting her deputy, Rajyawardhan Rathore as Minister of State of Information and Broadcasting with independent charge. In the case of Alphons Kannanthanam was divested the charge of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and has now only the charge of Tourism.  S.S. Ahluwalia has been removed from Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and given the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Piyush Goyal who is given the additional charge of finance ministry is considered a good performer and is also familiar with economic affairs.  The other three have been found not performing well leading to their demotion.

In the case of Irani who has been courting controversies rather too frequently, has embarrassed the government on many occasions.  She had unduly interfered with the functioning of professionals in the ministry. She wanted to appoint her favourites and played around with the autonomy of Prashar Bharathi. Her decision to change the norms of accreditation embarrassed the Prime Minister personally and the order had to be rescinded the very next day.  The latest was her decision embarrassing the President of India in film awards distribution. President Kovind himself mentioned the matter to the Prime Minister.

Alphons Kannanthanam has been shooting his mouth off rather too often, placing the government in an uncomfortable situation.  Moreover the assessment shows he has not been making a mark as Minister of Electronics and Information Technology. Being an IAS officer there was much expectation from him but he proved otherwise.

S.S.Ahluwalia too did not come up to the expectations.  He was given the important portfolio of drinking water and sanitation ministry. Prime Minister is keen about substantial improvements in both drinking water and sanitation segments.


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