New Delhi : Arun Jaitley has turned out to be the most important person in the new government after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with three heavy portfolios of finance, defence and corporate affairs, it was announced Tuesday.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan released the portfolio allocation of 46 ministers, including 24 cabinet ministers, of the government sworn in Monday evening. Sushma Swaraj is the new foreign minister and Rajnath Singh will head the home ministry.
Modi has kept with him, like some of his predecessors, the portfolios of personnel, public grievances and pensions as well as the departments of atomic energy and space besides any other department not allocated to any minister.
He will, as the presidential communique states, be in charge of “all important policy issues”.
Rajnath Singh, the BJP president who is likely to hand over the party baton to someone else, gets the important portfolio of home (interior) and Sushma Swaraj gets both external affairs and overseas Indian affairs.
M. Venkaiah Naidu, a former BJP president, also gets a lot of responsibility with urban development, housing and urban poverty alleviation as well as parliamentary affairs.
Nitin Gadkari, another former BJP president, takes charge of road transport and highways as well as Shipping while D.V. Sadananda Gowda will the railway minister.
V.K. Singh, a former army chief, is the minister of state for external affairs, overseas Indian affairs and development of north eastern region (independent charge).
Harsh Vardhan, the former Delhi chief ministerial candidate, is the new health minister while former TV star Smriti Irani gets the heavy portfolio of human resources development.