Ashwini Vaishnaw, Dharmendra Pradhan, Anurag Thakur among big gainers in cabinet rejig

As many as 43 ministers, including new and old, took oath on Wednesday evening and the portfolios were distributed soon after.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has completely revamped the Union Council of Ministers by inducting new faces and restructuring the portfolios.

A new entrant to the cabinet, Ashwini Vaishnaw will be the new Railways, Communications and IT Minister. Earlier, Ravi Shankar Prasad was heading the Communications and IT Ministry, while the Railways portfolio was with Piyush Goyal.

Newly-promoted Cabinet minister Anurag Thakur has been made the new I&B Minister, besides holding the Sports portfolio. Thakur was earlier the Minister of State for Finance. The I&B portfolio was earlier with Prakash Javadekar, who is out of the Cabinet now. Sports ministry was held by Kiren Rijiju, who will now be the new Law Minister.

The crucial Health Ministry, which was divested from Harsh Vardhan, has been given to newly-promoted Mansukh Mandaviya, who earlier held the Shipping and Ports portfolio. He will also hold the charge of Chemicals and Fertilisers.

Hardeep Puri has also got a big promotion as he bagged the Petroleum Ministry along with Housing and Urban Affairs, while his Civil Aviation portfolio has been given to Jyotiraditya Scindia, whose father late Madhavrao Scindia also held the portfolio when he was a minister.

Piyush Goyal has retained Commerce and Industry, while Textiles has been added to his portfolio although he will no longer have the charge of Railways.

Textiles ministry was earlier held by Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani. Goyal has also been given the charge of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Santosh Gangwar has been replaced by former BJP organisational heavyweight Bhupender Yadav as the Labour Minister. Yadav also gets charge of the important Environment portfolio which was earlier held by Prakash Javadekar.

Dharmendra Pradhan has been named as the new Education Minister, replacing Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank who had resigned earlier in the day. Pradhan will also hold charge of the Skill Development Ministry.

Pralhad Joshi will be the new Parliamentary Affairs Minister, besides holding the Coal and Mines portfolios.

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane will be the MSME Minister, while former Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal will hold the charge of Shipping, Ports and Aayush.

Virendra Kumar will be the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, replacing Thawar Chand Gehlot, who has been made the Governor of Karnataka.

Giriraj Singh will be the Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, while JD-U's RCP Singh will be the Steel Minister.

Kiren Rijiju is the new Law Minister, while Pashupati Paras got the Food Processing portfolio.

Mahendra Nath Pandey is the new Minister of Heavy Industries instead of Skill Development, while Parshottam Rupala will be the Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

G. Kishan Reddy will hold the Culture and Tourism portfolios, besides holding charge of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER).

New MoS Rajeev Chandrasekar will be the Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. He will also be the MoS for Electronics and Information Technology.

(With IANS inputs)

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