A day after the oath-taking ceremony of PM Modi and his Council of Ministers, the portfolios have finally been announced. Around 58 parliamentarians took oath yesterday and now hours after their oath taking, the ministries have been allocated to the respective parliamentarians, based on their profile and their experience.
While outgoing BJP President Amit Shah is now the new Home Minister of India, former Home Minister Rajnath Singh will now serve the Defence Ministry. Interestingly though, demolishing many media speculations about the same, the Finance Ministry has been allocated to firebrand politician and the outgoing Defence Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman. She will now hold the ministry in place of her predecessor Arun Jaitley, who opted out due to health reasons.
Born to Tamilian parents, Nirmala Sitharaman is an illustrious woman, who completed her masters in Economics from the renowned Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi. Interestingly, her husband, P Prabhakar, has been a communications advisor to the then CM of undivided Andhra Pradesh, N Chandrababu Naidu.
While some may feel surprised on her election as the Finance Minister, Sitharaman is well qualified for the post that she has been allocated to. Apart from completing masters in Economics, Sitharaman has also administered the Ministry of Commerce & Industry until early 2017, when she was brought in as a replacement for the outgoing Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. By doing so, she became effectively the first ever Indian woman to hold the post of the Defence Minister.
As the Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman had to face immense challenges. From countering the propaganda of lies spread by Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his coterie of the left-liberal intelligentsia over the Rafale deal, or dealing effectively with the outrage caused by the Pulwama attacks, Nirmala’s journey as the Defence Minister wasn’t a cakewalk in any respect.
However, overcoming them all, Nirmala Sitharaman proved to be an able successor to her predecessor, i.e. Manohar Parrikar. Besides, she ably carried forward his legacy in terms of giving more teeth to the women officers of the armed forces, be it opening the doors of military police for women, or allotting the status of permanent commission to the women army officers working in their respective wings as of now.
As she takes up the post, Nirmala Sitharaman has her task cut out. Apart from keeping the deficits under check, the onus to take India to double-digit growth lies on the shoulders of Nirmala Sitharaman. Also, it will be interesting to see as to how she handles economic fugitives like Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, etc..
Likewise, in the same way, Nirmala Sitharaman is practically the first Indian woman to hold the post of the Finance Minister, since former PM Indira Gandhi had taken the Finance Ministry as an additional charge. Though her journey is far from easy, given her immense experience, as well as her go-getter attitude, Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to go places with her current post.