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Cabinet reshuffle: Smriti Irani removed as I&B Minister, Piyush Goyal gets finance

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday temporarily assigned charge of the ministries of finance and corporate affairs to railway minister Piyush Goyal till Arun Jaitley recovers from a kidney transplant while removing the controversy-scarred Smriti Irani from the high-profile I&B ministry.

While Goyal will continue with his charge of Railways and Coal Ministries, the reshuffle made two lateral shifts as well: Alphons Kannanthanam was relieved of his duties as Minister of State in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. He has been replaced by SS Ahluwalia who will assist Cabinet Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the ministry. While Kannanthanam retains his duties as MoS (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Tourism, Ahluwalia has been relieved as MoS in charge of Drinking Water and Sanitation to take charge as MoS in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Smriti’s loss will be sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore’s gain. The Olympic medallist, who was closely engaged with the Indian squad which participated in the Commonwealth Games and also served as junior minister in I&B, will now hold full-scale charge of the ministry.

This reallocation of portfolios was announced late evening by Rashtrapati Bhavan. Since there is neither any new induction nor there is a change in ranks of the reshuffled ministers, no swearing-in ceremony is required for this.


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