In a major Cabinet reshuffle of the BJP government on Monday, Smriti Irani replaced by her deputy Rajyavardhan Rathore as the new information and broadcasting minister.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has been assigned the independent charge as Minister of State in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said.
Smriti Irani, whose tenure was mired in controversy, is now left with the Textile Ministry only. Rail Minister Piyush Goyal was given the additional charge of the Finance Ministry.
This is the second time that Irani has been moved from a key ministry. Earlier she was shifted from the HRD Ministry to the Textile Ministry.
Controversies related to actor-turned-politician Smriti Irani’s educational qualifications made national headlines last year.
In April this year, I&B Ministry led by Irani issued a ‘fake news directive’ saying the government has “amended” the Guidelines for Accreditation of Journalists.
Irani’s I&B Ministry, removed the films ‘Nude’ and ‘S Durga’ from the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), despite the two films having featured in the jury’s selection.
Also, she was sharply criticised for her handling of the row over the recent National award ceremony boycott by most of the award winners. During the National Award ceremony she presented a number of the awards, along with new I&B Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, instead of the President handing over all the awards to the respective winners.