Piyush Goyal takes up Finance Ministry, Smriti Irani loses Information & Brodcasting

In a significant reshuffle of ministerial portfolios today, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was given additional charge of the finance ministry till Arun Jaitley recovers from a successful kidney transplant.

During the period of Jaitley’s indisposition, the portfolios of Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs held by him have been temporarily assigned to Goyal, according to a media release by the press secretary. Additionally, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has been assigned the independent charge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He replaces Smriti Irani, who will continue to head the textiles ministry. Irani has been divested of the I&B ministry after ten months.

Here are the other portfolio changes announced:

    • SS Ahluwalia has been relieved of his charge as the minister of state at the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. He will take over as the MoS in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
    • Alphons Kannanthanam has been relieved of his role as the MoS at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
      The portfolio reshuffle comes a day before the results of the key Karnataka assembly elections are announced.

Jaitley, 65, today underwent a successful kidney transplant at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. “Both the donor and the recipient are stable and recovering well,” a senior AIIMS official said. The finance minister had been undergoing dialysis for the last one month, and mostly working from a “controlled environment at home”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Jaitley, hours before he underwent the surgery this morning. Government sources said PM Modi was in touch with Jaitley’s family and had been getting updates on his health through the day.

Goyal is also in-charge of the railways and coal ministry.