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Centre reshapes cabinet panels, BJP allies get crucial posts

Centre reshapes cabinet panels, BJP allies get crucial posts

The Union government on July 3 reconstituted several key cabinet committees. Ministers from the BJP’s alliance partners Janata Dal (U), Telugu Desam Party, Janata Dal (S), Shiv Sena and Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) have found places in the panels, most of which are headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The committees include the Cabinet Committee on Security, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs.

According to a government press release, the Cabinet Committee on Appointments, which handles various high-level appointments, has two members — Mr Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. The Cabinet Committee on Accommodation is headed by Mr Shah and has senior BJP ministers Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Manohar Lal Khattar and Piyush Goyal as members. Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh is a special invitee.

The crucial Cabinet Committee on Security is headed by the Prime Minister and includes Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Mr Shah, Ms Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, the panel that decides on allocations and disbursements, is also headed by Mr Modi. Mr Singh, Mr Shah, Ms Sitharaman, Mr Jaishankar, Mr Gadkari, Agriculture Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Minister for Heavy Industries and Steel and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy are its members. Besides them, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and JD(U) leader and Minister for Panchayati Raj and Animal Husbandry Rajiv Ranjan Singh are also members of the committee.

The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs is headed by Mr. Rajnath Singh. Its members include Mr. Shah, Health Minister J.P. Nadda, Ms. Sitharaman, Mr. Rajiv Ranjan Singh, TDP leader and Civil Aviation Minister K. Rammohan Naidu, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju, Social Justice Minister Virendra Kumar, Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram and Jal Shakti Minister C.R. Patil. The special invitees to the committee are Minister of State for Law (Independent Service) Arjun Ram Meghwal and Minister of State for Law L. Murugan.

The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs is also headed by Mr Modi, and includes Mr Rajnath Singh, Mr Shah, Mr Gadkari, Ms Sitharaman, Mr Goyal, Mr Nadda, Mr Naidu, Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Jitan Ram Manjhi, Minister for Ports and Shipping Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister for Environment Bhupender Yadav, Minister for Women and Child Development Annapurna Devi, Mr Rijiju and Minister for Coal G. Kishan Reddy.

The Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth has Mr Modi, Mr Singh, Mr Shah, Mr Gadkari, Ms Sitharaman, Mr Goyal, Consumer Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, Textiles Minister Giriraj Singh, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Communications Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Food Processing Industries Minister Chirag Paswan as members. Special invitees to the panel are Minister of State for Statistics Rao Inderjit Singh and Aayush Minister Prataprao Jadhav.

The Cabinet Committee on Skills, Employment and Livelihood comprises the Prime Minister, Mr Singh, Mr Shah, Mr Gadkari, Ms Sitharaman, Mr Vaishnaw, Mr Pradhan, Mr Yadav, Mr Puri, Minister of Culture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Minister of Employment Mansukh Mandaviya. Minister of State for Skill Development and RLD leader Jayant Choudhary is a special invitee to this panel.

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