Amit Shah empowers his ministers of state
Amit Shah to look after decisions involving Cabinet matters and President’s house.
While Reddy has been given charge of key divisions such as Jammu and Kashmir, northeast, Union Territory, cyber security and counter-radicalisation, Rai has been allocated centre-state division, Police-I (that looks after transfer postings of IPS officers), foreigners divisions and others.
Besides IB, Shah will look after all decisions involving Cabinet matters and President’s house, officials told ET.
This is the first time that both the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir divisions have been allocated to the same minister of state. Under the previous NDA government, junior minister Kiren Rijiju was incharge of the northeast division and his colleague Hansraj G Ahir was looking after counter-radicalisation and Kashmir affairs.
Rijiju has now been given independent charge of the youth affairs and sports ministry, while Ahir had to quit after losing his election.
The allocation order, cleared by Shah, was released late on Tuesday, officials said. It was imperative due to the ongoing Parliament session where the two junior ministers will be required to answer questions related to the home ministry, they said.
“In the past too, the home ministers kept reporting of Intelligence Bureau with them,” a senior government official told ET.
The move is in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal, at a recent meeting, to Cabinet ministers to assign more work to their deputies or ministers of state so that they can learn how the government functions and don’t feel sidelined, officials said.
There are 24 ministers of state in the present council of ministers and six other ministers of state with independent charge.
Shah, according to officials, has also tasked his deputies with taking presentation from each division at the home ministry to acquaint themselves with its functioning. The home minister was given a detailed review regarding the functioning of the MHA on the first day of taking charge at North Block.
Rai, as per the order, has also been made incharge of women safety division, which was created last year to focus on safety of women and children.
It may be recalled that government was quick to promulgate criminal law ordinance 2018 following the kidnapping and murder of a minor girl in Kathua. The 2018 ordinance provides for death penalty for rapists of girls below 12 years of age and other stringent penal provisions for rape. It also proposes to set up a national registry for sexual offenders, the proposal for which was recently rolled out by the MHA.
Rai will also be incharge of the left-wing extremism (LWE) division, which looks after anti-Maoist operations, besides disaster management and police modernisation divisions, officials said.