PM shifted Irani to save his reputation: Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi :Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit on Wednesday said Smriti Irani embarrassed the Modi government terribly as Minister for Human Resource Development and described her transfer to the textile ministry as an attempt to save the prime minister and his government’s reputation.

“Smriti Irani had become a terrible embarrassment for the government. Perhaps, in independent India, she is the worst education minister till date. So, I think, to save their reputation, the prime minister changed her portfolio,” Dikshit claimed.

Smriti Irani has been replaced by Prakash Javadekar.

On Javadekar, Dikshit said “But even with regard to Mr. Javadekar, his role in the environment ministry had been controversial. He’s come out to be completely a pro-industry, anti-forest minister. He’s given a large amount of environment clearances in favour of the industry against environment issues. So, we don’t know. He is even seen to be a champion of privatization. So, let’s see what he does in the education ministry, I don’t have much hope.”

“When the Modi government came to power, he said, it would be based on minimum government and maximum governance and will keep a small cabinet of maximum 40-50 people and now, it has risen to 80, and in days to come, it will expand more,” Dikshit told ANI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expanded his Union Council of Ministers with the addition of 19 new ministers of state. The new faces inducted are mainly from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

The names of those inducted in the cabinet are: SS Ahluwalia, Ramesh Chandappa Jigjinagi, Parshottam Rupala, MJ Akbar, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Anil Madhav Dave, Vijay Goel, Rajen Gohain, Mahendra Nath Pandey, CR Chaudhary, PP Chaudhary, Ramdas Athawale, Subhash Ramrao Bhamre, Jasvant Sinh Bhabhor, Mansukh Mandaviya, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Ajay Tamta, Anupriya Singh Patel, and Krishna Raj.

The decision to expand the Council of Ministers came after taking into consideration a diverse range of factors.

Modi’s first major cabinet reshuffle took place in November 2014.

According to the Constitution, a maximum of 82 ministers can be accommodated in the Union Cabinet.(ANI)