Smriti Irani has been given the additional charge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting after M Venkaiah Naidu resigned to contest the vice-presidential election, according to media reports.
Irani currently heads the textiles ministry.
The additional charge of the Ministry of I&B has been given to @smritiirani.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 18, 2017
The position fell vacant after Naidu resigned from his post as Union minister in the Narendra Modi Cabinet.
Naidu has been nominated as the vice-presidential candidate of the ruling NDA alliance. Naidu was in-charge of the Ministry of Urban Development and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation in addition to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The additional charge of the Ministry of Urban Development has been given to Narendra Singh Tomar, who already holds the portfolios of rural development, panchayati raj, and drinking water and sanitation.
In a Cabinet reshuffle in 2016, both Irani and Tomar had lost their portfolios. Irani was replaced by Prakash Javedekar as the HRD Minister and Piyush Goyal replaced Tomar and was given additional charge of Minister of Mines.
Naidu is among the most experienced leaders in the BJP, and is pitted against Opposition's Gopalkrishna Gandhi, in the 2017 vice-presidential polls.
Speaking earlier about Naidu's candidature in the vice-presidential elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that it was Naidu's experience that made him 'a fitting candidate' to become a Rajya Sabha chairperson.
There is still a need for a Cabinet reshuffle as two key ministries — defence and environment — are without a full-time minister. Finance minister Arun Jaitley and science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan are holding the additional charge of these two portfolios respectively.
Updated Date: Jul 18, 2017 11:52 AM