Suresh Prabhu replaces Sadananda Gowda as Indian railway minister

By Sonny Abraham

Former Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar took over on Monday as India’s new defence minister, while former Shiv Sena leader Suresh Prabhu has become the new minister for railways, replacing D V Sadananda Gowda, who has been shunted out to Law and Justice.

Parrikar and Prabhu are among the 21 new ministers inducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the first expansion and reshuffle of his Council of Ministers, taking its strength to 66.

The new Ministers include four of Cabinet rank, three Ministers of State with independent charge and 14 Ministers of State.

The other two new cabinet ministers are Jagat Prakash Nadda, who has been assigned Health and Family Welfare, and Birender Singh, who has been allocated Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water & Sanitation.

Defence was so far being handled as an additional charge by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Sources said Gowda seemed to have been shifted out of Railways because Modi was getting increasingly impatient with his inability to get going and lead the development and modernisation of this crucial sector, vital to the new Government’s ambitious plans for economic revival and faster growth. Modi is hoping that Prabhu’s dynamism would provide the right kind of leadership for the Railways at this juncture. More info

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