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Cabinet Reshuffle: The 9 new cabinet ministers and their portfolios

LiveMint logoLiveMint 03-09-2017 Livemint

New Delhi: In the third cabinet reshuffle since 2014, the National Democratic Alliance added nine ministers to the Union Cabinet, namely K.J. Alphons Kannanthanam, Hardeep Singh Puri, R.K. Singh, Satyapal Singh, Anant Kumar Hegde, Virendra Kumar, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Shiv Pratap Shukla.

Mint profiles the new cabinet ministers in the Narendra Modi government and the portfolio they will handle:

K.J. Alphons Kannanthanam

K.J. Alphons Kannanthanam

Background: Former IAS officer. Represented Kanjirappaly in Kottayam as LDF-backed independent in Kerala’s legislative assembly from 2006 to 2011. Joined the BJP in 2011.

Claim to fame: Razed several thousand illegal constructions as commissioner, Delhi Development Authority, in the 1990s, hence the nickname “Demolition Man”. His induction is seen as part of a BJP strategy to make inroads into Kerala.

Portfolio: Minister of state (independent charge) of the ministry of tourism and MoS in the ministry of electronics and information technology.

Hardeep Singh Puri

Hardeep Singh Puri

Background: Former IFS officer who served in Brazil, Japan and the UK. Was also India’s permanent representative to the United Nations under the UPA. Joined BJP in 2014.

Claim to fame: First diplomat with no political experience to become a minister. Considered to be a good friend of Union minister Arun Jaitley. An alumnus of Hindu College, he began his career as a teacher in St. Stephen’s College before joining the IFS. Was active as a student during the JP movement.

Portfolio: Minister of state (independent charge) of the ministry of housing and urban affairs.

R.K. Singh

R.K. Singh.

Background: IAS officer who served as home secretary from 2011 to 2013. Joined the BJP in 2014 after retiring from the IAS.

Claim to fame: Arrested L.K. Advani in 1990 when serving as DM of Samastipur under orders from then Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad. Advani was on his Rath Yatra. After retiring as home secretary, he severely criticized his former boss Sushil Kumar Shinde’s record as home minister.

Portfolio: Minister of state (independent charge) of the ministry of power; and minister of state (independent charge) of the ministry of new and renewable energy.

Satyapal Singh

Satyapal Singh.

Background: Senior Maharashtra police officer. Was Pune police commissioner during the German Bakery blast in 2010. Served as Mumbai police commissioner but opted for VRS in 2014. Was the first serving police commissioner to resign from service.

Claim to fame: Reputed to be an honest and upright officer, Singh refused to renew Maharashtra home minister Ramesh Bagwe’s passport as Pune police commissioner because the politician had criminal cases pending against him. Singh was eventually shunted out. His inclusion is supposed to balance out the cabinet after the departure of fellow Jat, Sanjiv Kumar Balyan, from the government.

Portfolio: Minister of state in the ministry of human resource development and minister of state in the ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation.

Anant Kumar Hegde

Anant Kumar Hegde.

Background: Five-term MP from Karnataka.

Claim to fame: Has a hate speech charge against him. Plus CCTV footage obtained from a hospital in January shows him beating up doctors. Hegde’s mother had been admitted at the hospital after a fall.

Portfolio: Minister of state in the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship.

Virendra Kumar

Virendra Kumar.

Background: Six-term Lok Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh’s Tikamgarh.

Claim to fame: A Dalit leader who has worked to remove barriers of caste and class and building orphanages, schools and old-age homes.

Portfolio: MoS in the ministry of women and child development as well as the ministry of minority affairs.

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Background: Lok Sabha MP from Jodhpur.

Claim to fame: National general secretary of BJP’s farmers wing, BJP Kisan Morcha.

Portfolio: MoS in the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare.

Ashwini Kumar Choubey

Ashwini Kumar Choubey.

Background: Brahmin face of the BJP in Bihar; has been associated with the Jan Sangh and then its successor BJP for almost five decades. Was health minister in the Nitish Kumar cabinet in 2012.

Claim to fame: Raised the toilet campaign slogan ‘Ghar ghar mein ho shouchalaya ka nirman, tabhi hoga ladli bitiya ka kanyadaan’. Helped in constructing 11,000 toilets for Mahadalit families.

Portfolio: Minister of state in the ministry of health and family welfare.

Shiv Pratap Shukla

Shiv Pratap Shukla.

Background: Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh, vice-president of BJP’s state unit.

Claim to fame: Known for his rivalry with UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

Portfolio: Minister of state in the ministry of finance.

Photos by the Associated Press.

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