04092017-TTC-01.qxd 9/4/2017 1:31 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 monday, september 4, 2017 late city chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 1 no. 139 | 20 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Take a bow, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman surprise choice; Goyal is new Railway Minister Vibha Sharma Tribune News Service New Delhi, September 3 It was a big day for women empowerment with Nirmala Sitharaman being appointed as India’s first full-time woman Defence Minister. Her promotion was by far the biggest statement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who today recast his Council of Ministers with four new Cabinet Ministers and nine Ministers of State, four of them former bureaucrats. The Defence portfolio was held by Indira Gandhi too, but as Prime Minister. Sitharaman, who will take charge after two days following the return of incumbent Arun Jaitley from Japan, will now be a part of the allimportant Cabinet Committee for Security (CCS) — the second woman minister on the panel along with Sushma Swaraj. For the first time, the CCS will have two women on board. The three Ministers of State to be elevated to the Cabinet rank on the basis of their “performance” are Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, all Rajya Sabha MPs and considered close to Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, who will now be looking after Finance and Corporate Affairs. Jaitley said the allocations were based on “competence and who could perform well in which ministry” after a close monitoring of the performance of each ministry and its ministers by the PM. Goyal replaces Suresh Prabhu in the beleaguered Railway Ministry, who will fill in for Sitharaman in the Commerce and Industry Ministry but as Cabinet Minister. Political compulsions Apart from governance capabilities, the PM has taken care of BJP’s political requirements. Pradhan’s elevation is clearly to give him a stature to counter BJD leader and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik. Odisha is due for elections in two years, along with the General Election. Petroleum Minister Prad- Piyush Goyal Minister of Railways, Coal Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (promoted): Minister of Minority Affairs Dharmendra Pradhan (promoted): Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Hardeep S Puri MoS (Independent Charge), Housing & Urban Affairs ❝ PM has sent a very big message. Everything Indian women were waiting for… it is for us to work through and perform (to achieve it). I am overwhelmed. It is a huge responsibility… I also want to see the files (on women in combat roles) where they stand. Nirmala Sitharaman han gets the portfolio close to the PM’s heart — Skill Development and Entrepreneurship — earlier held by Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who was asked to put in his papers. The elevation of BJP’s Muslim face Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to the Cabinet rank and the inclusion of Alphons Kannanthanam, a Christian, and Hardeep Singh Puri, a Sikh, in Modi’s team are attempts at balancing region and caste equations as well as giving representation to religious minorities. Alphons comes with an added advantage. He belongs to Kerala, a state where the saffron party is working hard to emerge as a potent force. Among the nine new ministers, three are Brahmins (Shiv Pratap Shukla, Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Anant Kumar Hegde), two are Rajputs (RK Singh and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat), one a Jat-OBC (Satya Pal Singh) and one a Dalit (Virendra Kumar). The inclusion of Shukla and Choubey appears to be aimed at pleasing the Brahmin constituency in UP and Bihar. Mukesh Ranjan KV Prasad Tribune News Service New Delhi, September 3 Even as the Bihar allies — BJP and JD-U — are claiming “all is well”, the fast-changing political canvas in the state appears to be far from settled and a perception has gone down that the saffron outfit is not ready to play the second fiddle to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s party. There were clear indications that the JD-U would get ministerial berths in the Narendra Modi government. But, when the expansioncum-reshuffle of Union Council of Ministers took place today, there was none from the JD-U and instead the BJP leadership decided to drop one (Rajiv Pratap Rudy) and induct two (RK Singh and Ashwini Kumar Choubey) from the state, while retaining Giriraj Singh, a Bhumihar. The selections from Bihar not only send signal to the BJP’s core forward caste support base, these also balance the intra-party equations. Choubey, a Brahmin and an continued on page 7 Raj Kumar Singh MoS (Independent Charge), Power; New & Renewable Energy Ashwini K Choubey MoS in Ministry of Health, Family Welfare New Cabinet Minister Nirmala Sitharaman exchanges greetings after taking oath on Sunday. PTI BJP signal: No CA Goyal takes Sworn in, but playing second place of CA resignations fiddle in Bihar Suresh Prabhu notacceptedyet Tribune News Service Suresh Prabhu Minister of Commerce, Industry Tribune News Service New Delhi, September 3 One chartered accountant by profession, Piyush Goyal, has replaced another, Suresh Prabhu, in the Rail Bhawan. The country, however, hopes the days of finance-centric administration of the Railways will be over and the new man will strike a balance between operations, finance and infrastructure. Sources said the biggest challenge for the new minister would be to bring the operations back on track to ensure that safety becomes the paramount concern. “For that you need better infrastructure, which requires finances. So the new minister would need to be imaginative to strike a balance between the three factors for better results and mishapfree running of trains,” a senior official said. Goyal, elevated to the Cabinet rank, is taking charge from Prabhu after a spate of train accidents. Prabhu has been shifted to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. continued on page 7 New Delhi, September 3 Can new ministers be swornin against vacancies not notified by the President? This is a question that only the law-makers and legal experts can answer. There is no official communiqué from the Rashtrapati Bhavan indicating the acceptance of resignation of members from the Union Council of Ministers so far. There is a notification on the website of the Cabinet Secretariat about the resignation of six members from the Union Council of Ministers, including Kalraj Misra, Bandaru Dattatreya, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Sanjeev Baliyan and Mahendra Pandey, but no notification about the acceptance of any resignation. Today, the Cabinet Secretariat and the President’s website has taken note of new allocations. Surely, while the reshuffle of portfolios is the prerogative of the PM, but can the President appoint new members to the Council of Ministers without declaring vacancies? Today’s issue is of 20 pages, including four-page Bathinda Tribune. Gainers and losers Apart from Sitharaman, the other big gainers are Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Irani, Harsh Vardhan and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. Textile Minister Irani retains the Information and Broadcasting charge given to her after M Venkaiah Naidu became the country’s VicePresident. Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan too retains the charge of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. continued on page 7 edit: re-mulching the cabinet more reports on page 7 Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore Minister of Sports Gajendra Singh Shekhawat MoS, Agriculture & Farmer Welfare Virendra Kumar: MoS, Ministry of Women and Child Development; Minority Affairs Anant K Hegde Satya Pal Singh A Kannanthanam MoS in Ministry of MoS, HRD, Water Resources, MoS (Independent Skill Development & River Development & Charge), Tourism; Entrepreneurship Ganga Rejuvenation MoS, Electronics, IT N Korea declares H-bomb test ‘a perfect success’ Seoul, September 3 North Korea said it detonated a hydrogen bomb designed for a long-range missile today and called its sixth and most powerful nuclear test a “perfect success”, sparking global condemnation and promises of tougher US sanctions. Pyongyang residents threw their arms aloft in triumph as a jubilant television newsreader hailed the “unprecedentedly large” blast. It “marked a very significant occasion in attaining the final goal of completing the state nuclear force”, she added. But world reaction was swift and angry. US President Donald Trump said on Twitter Pyongyang’s “words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States”. The US Treasury Department will prepare sanctions that would “cut off North Korea economically”, said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Hours before the test, the North had released images of leader Kim Jong-Un at the Nuclear Weapons Institute, inspecting what it said was a miniaturised H-bomb that could be fitted onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). China, the North’s sole remaining major ally, issued a “strong condemnation” of the test, which overshadowed the opening of the BRICS summit in Xiamen. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe described it as “absolutely unacceptable”, while Russia’s foreign ministry expressed “strongest condemnation” but urged calm. In Seoul, President Moon Jae-In called for new United Nations sanctions to “completely isolate North Korea” and said the South would discuss deploying “the strongest strategic assets of the US military”. That could be taken as a reference to tactical nuclear weapons, which were withdrawn from South Korea by Washington in 1991. US monitors measured a 6.3-magnitude tremor near the North’s main testing site, which South Korean experts North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (R) looking at a metal casing with two bulges. REUTERS INDIA DEPLORES MOVE ■ India on Sunday deplored the nuclear test conducted by North Korean, stating that it goes against the objective of the de-nulcearisation of the Korean peninsula, endorsed by the country itself ■ “It is a matter of deep concern that DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) has once again acted in violation of its international commitments, which goes against the objective of the de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, which has been endorsed by DPRK itself,” the Ministry of External Affairs said MORE REPORTS ON PAGE 13 said was five to six times stronger than the 10-kiloton test carried out a year ago. The tremor was felt in northeastern China, with people in the border city of Yanji saying they fled their homes in their underwear, and in the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok. It was even detected as far away as Germany. Whatever the final figure for the test’s yield, said Jeffrey Lewis of the armscontrolwonk website, it was “a staged thermonuclear weapon” which represents a significant advance. Pyongyang triggered a new rise in tensions in July, when it carried out two successful tests of an ICBM which apparently brought much of the US mainland within range. Last week it fired a missile over Japan. — AFP
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