In a big Cabinet rejig, the Narendra Modi government seems to have rewarded and punished ministers according to their performance in the past two years. With 19 new ministers inducted today and five dropped, the council of ministers now comprises 79, including the prime minister. One of the biggest changes was that Smriti Irani was moved to the Ministry of Textiles from the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Irani's departure from the HRD Ministry comes at a time when the New Education Policy is in the works, and in the final stages of implementation. She had a stormy tenure. Student movements broke out in campuses across the country even as sedition charges were slapped on six students from Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University in February. There were protests over appointments in the Film and Television Institute of India too.
News channels started reporting late on Tuesday night that Irani would be replaced by Prakash Javadekar, who was promoted earlier in the day to Cabinet rank. Javadekar earlier held the environment ministry and it remains to be seen how he performs as HRD minister.
However, people on social media didn't waste much time in celebrating what they viewed as Irani's demotion even though her shift to a less important ministry could be in view of the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Twitter was abuzz with snark and humour as people traded speculative theories on what's in store for Irani next. Here's a lowdown: