9 new ministers join Modi govt; 4 elevated as Cabinet Mins

BJP sources told DC that Mr Rajasekaharan and M. Ganesh, organising general secretary in the state BJP leadership, were in New Delhi on Friday were not aware of it Mr Kannanthanam's ascension until the latter called up the state unit president late on Saturday night after he got the call from the Prime Minister's Office confirming his appointment as a union minister.

Alphons Kannanthanam, along with nine others, has sworn in as the minister of Narendra Modi cabinet at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday morning.

Union Minister Mahesh Sharma, who was holding the charge of the tourism ministry along with the Ministry of Culture, was shifted to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change as the Minister of State.

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Pradhan as the Oil MInister is also credited with successfully implementing government's policy in the crucial sector including the iniative to forego subsidised cooking gas voluntarily.The focus of the reshuffle has been who will be given the the defence and railways portfolios. Kannanthanam is a retired IAS officer of 1979 batch who joined BJP in 2011. On retiring from IAS, he contested the Kerala assembly polls in 2006 to become an independent MLA from Kanjirappally.

Incumbent Suresh Prabhu today indicated his exit from Railway Ministry, saying he will cherish memories with "rail family". Goyal will have additional charge of Ministry of Coal. He had offered to resign on August 23, taking "moral responsibility" for two recent train accidents. Kannanthanam came to be known as the Demolition Man after he demolished 14,310 illegal buildings on government land in Delhi, and reclaimed land worth more than ₹10,000 crore, while he was serving as the Commissioner of Delhi Development Authority.

Among the bureaucrats who have been inducted includes, Satya Pal Singh, 61, is a Lok Sabha MP from Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh. A 1974-batch of Indian Foreign Service, Hardeep Singh Puri, 65, served as India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013. "It is sure that he would give wings to the developmental dreams of the state", Kummanam said.

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