NEW DELHI: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was initially made a member of just two key Cabinet Committees including security, will now head the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
The veteran BJP leader has also been included in six other key Cabinet Committees, including the all-important panel on political affairs, which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Name of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has been added in Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Investment & Growth as well as Cabinet Committee on Employment & Skill Development. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/F9OXwuW6pm
— ANI (@ANI) June 6, 2019
The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs takes all important political decisions in the ruling dispensation.
Rajnath Singh was earlier made a member of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
On Wednesday, Singh was also made a member of two new panels set up by the government - the Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth and the Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development, to propel growth and investment.
Importantly, Singh headed the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs in the last government.
The panel takes all decisions pertaining to Parliament matters.
Though Rajnath Singh has been included in all important cabinet committees now, he is not yet a part of the panel on appointments and accommodation.
The Cabinet Appointments Committee includes only PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
The Modi government's decision to initially keep Rajnath Singh out of the key committees had triggered concerns because of his official no. 2 position in the previous Modi government.
As per the convention, the minister who is number two in the government presides over the cabinet and the political affairs committee in the absence of the Prime Minister.
It may be recalled that Singh held Home - one of the most important portfolios, which has now been given to Amit Shah. In the second term of NDA government, Singh has been made Defence Minister - a portfolio held by Nirmala Sitharaman, who now handles Finance.
Meanwhile, in a related development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday approved the reconstitution of policy think-tank National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog and reappointed Rajiv Kumar as its vice-chairman.
Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar have been appointed as its ex-officio members.