Smriti Irani assumed office as the Information and Broadcasting Minister in July 2017 following M Venkaiah Naidu's resignation from the ministry after NDA made him its Vice-Presidential candidate. Her former deputy in the I&B ministry, Rajyavardhan Rathore, has been given independent charge of the key portfolio. This is the second time that she has been removed from her ministry position.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has been assigned the charge of the ministries of finance and corporate affairs. Jaitley underwent a kidney transplant at AIIMS on Monday. He will be relieved of his duty as junior minister of the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation.
Earlier, Goyal was Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy.
While most saw the snub to Irani as the highlight of the shuffle, some suggested that Goyal's elevation as stopgap finance minister was more significant.
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Ms Irani's 10-month tenure in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry was marked by a major controversy in March over a proposed rule that envisaged severe punishment for journalists on accusation of fake news. Irani will continue as textile minister. Smriti Zubin Irani, presently Minister of Information and Broadcasting. Despite losing the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Amethi to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, she was inducted in the Modi government on May 26, 2014 as a human resource development minister. She faced a backlash after President Ram Nath Kovind awarded the honor to only 11 of 125 recipients this year and the I&B ministry said that the Rashtrapati Bhawan had changed the plans at the last minute.
Irani is now left with the textile ministry. She is also accused of putting on hold DD Free Dish auctions, a source of revenue, at the behest of certain private broadcasters.
The biggest casualty of Monday's Cabinet reshuffle, possibly the Modi government's final one before 2019, was Smriti Irani. Her circular on fake news had raised a hue and cry.