Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to be Finance Minister till Arun Jaitley recovers

Railway minister Piyush Goyal was temporarily given additional charge of the Union finance ministry in a Cabinet reshuffle

As part of a cabinet reshuffle, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, now minister of state for information and broadcasting (I&B), was also given independent charge of the politically crucial I&B ministry, replacing Smriti Irani, who will retain her textiles portfolio.

Goyal has been given the additional charge of the Finance Ministry till Jaitley fully recovers from his ailment and gets ready to return, added the source.

Irani has been replaced by her deputy Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who will hold independent charge of the I&B ministry. Alphons will continue to be MoS (independent charge) in the Ministry of Tourism. "Smriti Zubin Irani, presently Minister of Information and Broadcasting", release added.

Jaitley underwent a kidney transplant today and is recovering. Earlier she was shunted out of the HRD ministry to a relatively less high-profile Union Textiles Ministry.

Goyal will also handle the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which is overseen by Jaitley.


Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Goyal expressed happiness over the successful surgery, on Twitter. The ministry's order said journalists accused of being purveyors of fake news would lose their accreditation as soon as a complaint was made, and even before charges were proven. She remains the Textile Minister.

It may be recalled that when external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj underwent a renal transplant, Modi had not given any other minister additional charge of her portfolio, preferring to keep it to himself.

According to sources, it was the public humiliation for the President's office over the National Film Awards ceremony caused by the Irani-led I&B ministry's mismanagement that was the "last straw".

The most prominent among them included the controversy over "guidelines to regulate fake news", which caused widespread outrage among media organizations and were withdrawn after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention.

Smriti Irani's removal from I&B has been considered as a demotion in the wake of a string of contentious measures by the I&B Ministry.

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