Modi government reshuffle: Smriti Irani loses important portfolio

Union minister Smriti Irani has been abruptly removed from the important Information and Broadcasting Ministry in a reshuffle of the cabinet on Monday night. The new minister is Rajyavardhan Rathore, who was her junior minister in the department.

Irani was given the Information and Broadcasting portfolio as an additional charge in July 2017 after Venkaiah Naidu resigned to contest for the post of vice-president. Irani is now left with the textiles ministry which she has been handling since July 2016.

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal will also handle Finance Ministry until Arun Jaitley, who underwent a kidney surgery today, recovers.

This is the second time Irani is being moved out of a key ministry. She was moved out as Human Resource Development Minister and transferred to the Textiles Ministry, seen as a less important assignment, in 2016.

The transfer came after several controversies during her two-year tenure, including anger across university campuses after a Dalit student killed himself in Hyderabad after alleging persecution by officials over his caste.

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