Govt for “Continuity” of policies; retains top four ministries unchanged

New Delhi, June 10 (UNI) The government on Monday announced the portfolios of 71-member Council of Ministers that was sworn in yesterday with a clear message of “Continuity” of the previous policies as there is no change at the four top ministries – Defence, Home, Finance and External Affairs.

Rajnath Singh, a senior most leader in the BJP, has been given Defence. He is back in Lok Sabha for the third time in a row from Lucknow, He was Defence Minister in the outgoing Modi Cabinet while held Home Affairs in the 2014 BJP-led NDA government.

Next to him is Amit Shah, considered as close confidant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has retained as Minister for Home Affairs and Cooperative. As HM in the last Cabinet he played key role in the abrogation of Article 370 for J&K and also oversaw the entire election process along BJP President JP Nadda.

He is seen as the most crucial member in the Modi cabinet this time, as the BJP is short of a majority on its own and managing the allies would be key role in the current government.

Keeping the mantra of “Continuity” as central in the allocation of portfolios, Nirmala Sitharaman continues to be the Finance Minister in the Modi 3.0. Sitharaman was the first woman to be entrusted with the finance ministry in the outgoing Cabinet. Prior to this she also held important portfolio as Defence Minister in the Modi Cabinet in 2014.

She was at the helm when India suffered perhaps the worst challenge of ensuring to keep the economy in good shape post Covid crisis. She ensured that the economy grows at desirable 7 per cent or higher and also overlooked implementation of GST.

A seasoned bureaucrat S Jaishankar, who was inducted in the last Cabinet as External Affairs Minister and is known as effective articulator of Modi’s views worldwide. He is also known for his effective handling of challenging issues with the neighbouring countries – China and Pakistan, and for his instability at the border with Myanmar.

Giving him the responsibility as EAM once again, the message is loud and clear that Modi wants effective diplomacy with the world and neighbouring countries especially.

The new entrants in the Modi 3.0 cabinet, JP Nadda and Shivraj Singh Chouhan, have been assigned two ministries each. While Nadda has got the charge of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Chouhan, has been allocated the ministries of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; and Rural Development.

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