The first cabinet expansion on Wednesday of the second successive term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government saw a major revamp. Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar, Dr Harsh Vardhan and Ramesh Pokhriyal, who were holding important portfolios, were booted out. The rejigged cabinet has several new faces and some have even been elevated.
Meanwhile, BJP leader from Gujarat's Saurashtra Mansukh Mandaviya, who was holding the independent charge of the Shipping Ministry and was MoS for the Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry, has been elevated and appointed as the new Union Health Minister. He will also lead the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. Mandaviya's portfolio assumes utmost significance as the country is battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of the world's largest vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII), on Thursday congratulated Mandaviya and said he is looking forward to the new health minister's leadership as the country navigates through the coronavirus pandemic.
Taking to Twitter, Poonawalla wrote, "Congratulations Hon. @mansukhmandviya Ji. As our new Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare India and Chemical & Fertilizers, we look forward to your leadership as we navigate through this pandemic. It was a pleasure interacting with you during your visit to @SerumInstIndia."