Nirmala Sitharaman is the new Defence Minister
Nirmala Sitharaman, who just took oath as the new Cabinet member, has been given the Defence Ministry portfolio. She has become the first full-time woman defence minister of India and only the second woman to hold the crucial ministry after Indira Gandhi.
She is elevated to the Cabinet rank in the reshuffle carried out by the Modi government on Sunday. Earlier, she served as a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs under the Ministry of Finance headed by Arun Jaitley and before that as a national spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party (called Bharatha Makkal Kazhagam in Tamil). Currently, she has been allotted the MP seat in the Rajya Sabha representing the state of Karnataka.
Jaitley has been handling the ministry after Manohar Parrikar quit to become the Goa's chief minister.
Puducherry governor Kiran Bedi praised Sitharaman and congratulated her.
With swearing-in ceremony over, the Modi Cabinet has got nine new ministers and four others have been given Cabinet berth. Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman, Dharmendra Pradhan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi have been given Cabinet rank.