Goyal gets additional charge of finance; Irani shifted from I&B ministry


On Monday, Smriti Irani was removed as head of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and replaced by her junior minister Rajyavardhan Rathore. According to sources, finance ministry has been given to Piyush Goyal till the time Arun Jaitley recovers from the kidney transplant operation he had today. While Irani is now left only with the Textile portfolio, her deputy Rajyvardhan Singh Rathore is the new I&B Minister with Independent charge.

Alphons Kannanthanam, will be relieved of the charge of minister of state in the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology as S.S. Ahluwalia, has been assigned the portfolio.

Monday's divestment is a big blow to Irani, who had earlier been shifted out of the human resource development ministry after a contentious tenure but later made a comeback by gaining the I&B ministry.

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On April 3, she had to rescind an order amending PIB accreditation guidelines to combat fake news, following PMO's intervention. Irani's decision not only reportedly offended the awardees (more than 50 National Award winners boycotted the ceremony), but she also allegedly received criticism from the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

He is the second minister from Modi's cabinet to undergo a kidney transplant after foreign minister Sushma Swaraj in 2016. Irani will now handle only the Textile Ministry. A month after she took charge, Irani objected to the Press Trust of India releasing a photograph of men wearing masks of Modi and Janata Dal (United) Chief Nitish Kumar on the occasion of Friendship Day.

Earlier, Goyal was Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy.

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Considering Piyush Goyal as interim Finance Minister is indeed a welcome move, considering his credential in the said sector, having a degree in a chartered accountant.

The recent controversy over the national film awards function saw the President's office conveying its unhappiness to the PMO, tipping the scales against Irani, who also took on Prasar Bharti and officers belonging to the Indian Information Service.

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