Rajyavardhan Rathore is I&B Minister

Irani Goyal and Rathore

While Irani is now left only with the Textile portfolio, her deputy Rajyvardhan Singh Rathore is the new I&B Minister with Independent charge. In what is seen as a demotion, Smriti Irani, who courted controversies recently, has been divested of the information and broadcasting portfolio. He was inducted in the Modi ministry in May 2014 as the minister of state (independent charge) of power. Her handling of the human resources development ministry led to heartaches in the education sector.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal made temporary in-charge of Finance Ministry as Arun Jaitley recovers after kidney transplant on Monday.

Jaitley, 65, has been suffering kidney-related problems for months and was on dialysis for a fortnight at New Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences ahead of the transplant.

Ahluwalia was relieved of his charges as Minister of State in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. But the optics seems bad in a major portfolio as Mr Goyal was a minister of state till not long ago. Also he is seen to have brought positive changes in the sports ministry as minister with independent charge since previous year.

Interestingly, Goyal's elevation as finance minister comes days after he was accused of not disclosing the sale of his company to Piramal Group to PMO in his declaration.

Meeting presspersons in his office on Tuesday, Mr. Rathore said: "Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very clear that the media has to self-regulate". During her tenure as the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Irani courted several controversies.

Some 55 awardees had skipped the ceremony this month after learning at the last moment that the President would not be handing over their awards but confining himself to presenting only the biggest 11 prizes.

The Goyal move is also unusual as Jaitley has not attended office for almost a month and a half and even before that was unable to be in office for the full day as he was unwell. For so many years there had been requests to the Narendra Modi government for having Finance Minister with a finance background.

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