Smriti Irani A Loser Once Again; Goyal Gets Temporary Charge Of Finance

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New Delhi: It is yet again Union Information and Broadcasting Minister SmritiIrani was cut to size by her mercurial ways when Prime Minister NarendraModi on Monday removed her from the ministry. The PM temporarily assigned charge of the ministries of finance and corporate affairs to railway minister PiyushGoyal till ArunJaitley recovers from a kidney transplant.

Smriti's loss will be sports minister RajyavardhanRathore's gain. The Olympic medallist, who was closely engaged with the Indian squad which participated in the Commonwealth Games and also served as junior minister in I&B, will now hold full scale charge of the ministry.

Irani's remit has now shrunk to the textiles ministry in what is being seen as a second setback for the young politician who had earlier lost the crucial HRD ministry.

The fresh demotion comes in the wake of a string of contentious measures by the I&B ministry during her tenure. There had been speculation about her departure since the PMO, in an unusual public rebuke, ordered the reversal of the ministry's controversial guidelines purportedly meant to tackle "fake news". Sources close to Irani had insisted that the guidelines were never issued and blamed the fiasco on bureaucrats, but her removal suggests that the PMO thought otherwise.

The odds appeared to have lengthened further against her after her recent run-in with RashtrapatiBhavan over the handling of the national film awards function.

The recent controversy over the national film awards function saw the President's office conveying its unhappiness to the PMO, tipping the scales against Irani, who also took on PrasarBharti and officers belonging to the Indian Information Service. Interestingly, Rathore will be the Modi government's fifth I&B minister in four years. Irani's tenure lasted less than a year.

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