Nirmala Sitharaman Becomes India’s Second Woman Defence Minister
 Nirmala Sitharaman being sworn-in as a Cabinet Minister by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Sunday.
Nirmala Sitharaman being sworn-in as a Cabinet Minister by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Sunday.(Photo: PTI)

Nirmala Sitharaman Becomes India’s Second Woman Defence Minister

India, on 3 September, got its second woman defence minister – Nirmala Sitharaman – after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet saw induction of new ministers ahead of the 2019 General Elections.

Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was the first woman to hold the portfolio, though as an additional charge.

Nirmala Sitharaman credited her elevation to “cosmic grace” and support from party leadership. She told reporters here after taking oath:

Somebody who has come from a small town, grown into the party with all the support of the leadership, and if given such responsibility, it just makes you feel sometimes that cosmic grace is there. Otherwise it is impossible.

Speaking to LiveFist after her appointment, Sitharaman said that she “wastes no time plunging into new assignments” and that she has been “handpicked to steer a ministry entering a more complex phase”.

Sitharaman taking complete charge of the ministry comes as a relief, amid aggravated tensions between India and its neighbours, Pakistan and China.

Sitharaman joined the BJP in 2008 and was made a member of the National Executive. She was nominated as party spokesperson in March 2010 and since then had remained a full time party worker.

She was inducted in PM Modi’s Union Cabinet on 26 May 2014 as Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Commerce & Industry, as well as a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs.

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Twitterati hailed the NDA government’s move to appoint Sitharaman as the defence minister.

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