After weeks of rumors of a Cabinet overhaul and expansion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finally reshuffled his Council of Ministers.
On July 7, at 11:21 p.m. IST, as the very last announcement of the reshuffle, former Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal was appointed to head the Union Ministries of ports, shipping, and waterways. He will also handle the Ayush ministry.
Sarbananda Sonowal, the former Chief Minister of Assam who oversaw the Sports and Youth Affairs ministry under the first NDA administration, has been assigned the Ports, Shipping, and Waterways portfolio.
Mr. Sonowal took it to Twitter to express his gratitude for his new role.
“ I express my gratitude to Hon'ble PM Shri @narendramodi ji for entrusting me as the Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, & Minister of AYUSH. Under your guidance, I will dedicate my services to the Nation.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi sacked nearly a dozen ministers Wednesday. This included Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, and I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar, and replaced them with Sarbananda Sonowal, Narayan Rane, Jyotiraditya Scindia, and 33 others.
This is Prime Minister Modi's first rearrangement of the Council of Ministers since assuming office for a second term in May 2019.
Vardhan, who faced criticism for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis, resigned from the Union Council of Ministers only hours before the expansion.
As the country braces for a third wave of Covid following a crippling second surge, Mansukh Mandaviya has been tasked with directing containment efforts in his capacity as head of the vital health ministry Dr. Bharati Pawar will serve as his junior minister. Additionally, he would maintain the Chemical Fertilizers Ministry.