Finance Minister Arun Jaitley takes the additional charge of defence portfolio following the resignation of Manohar Parrikar. Parikar, who held the defence portfolio, resigned from the Cabinet on Sunday to take over as the chief minister of Goa. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday handed over Defence portfolio to Arun Jaitley. Jaitley is also the current Finance Ministry.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said that the resignation of Parrikar as the defence minister, was on the advice of the Prime Minister, has been accepted with immediate effect. ‘Further, as advised by the Prime Minister, the President has directed that Arun Jaitely, Cabinet Minister, shall be assigned the charge of the ministry of defence, in addition to his existing portfolios,’ the communique said
This would be the second time that Jaitley will be handling the portfolio of defence. He was in charge of the defence ministry during the same NDA government. He was in charge from May 26 to November 9 in 2014. The Bharatiya Janata Party under Parrikar has staked claim to form the government in Goa along with smaller parties such as Maharashtradi Gomantak Party and Goa Forward Party.
In the state assembly elections, BJP had won 13 of the total 40 seats compared with the Congress party’s 17. Parrikar was the chief minister of Goa twice before taking over as defence minister at the Centre. Jaitley had held the defence portfolio before Parrikar took over.