Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday night removed Smriti Irani as the Information and Broadcasting Minister and gave the portfolio to Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in a minor but significant reshuffle of his cabinet, in which Rail Minister Piyush Goyal was given the additional charge of the Finance Ministry.
Irani was replaced by her deputy Rathore who has been made the Minister of State with Independent Charge, according to a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique. She remains the Textile Minister.
The reshuffle comes a day before the Karnataka assembly election results.
The communique said Railways Minister Goyal will “temporarily” handle the Finance and Corporate Affairs ministries till Arun Jaitley recovers from his kidney transplant. Jaitley underwent a successful kidney transplant at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Monday.
It said SS Ahluwalia has been relieved from the charge of Minister of State in Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry and assigned a new portfolio of Electronics and Information Technology, the communique said.
Alphons Kannanthanam has been relieved as Minister of State in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. He continues as Minister of State for Tourism.
In July last year, Irani had assumed the charge of Information and Broadcasting Ministry after M Venkaiah Naidu had resigned following his nomination as NDA’s vice presidential candidate.
(With inputs from PTI)