In the biggest revamp of the Union Cabinet during the second term of the Narendra Modi government, as many as 43 members, including old and new ministers, were sworn-in on Wednesday. Anurag Thakur, the BJP MP from Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur who was sworn-in as a cabinet minister, has been entrusted with two important portfolios – Information and Broadcasting, and Sports. Thakur was previously the Minister of State for Finance.
He is among the six junior ministers who have been promoted to the union cabinet. The other six ministers who have been elevated as cabinet ministers are: Kiren Rijiju, Raj Kumar Singh, Hardeep Puri, Mansukh Mandaviya, G Kishan Reddy, and Parshottam Rupala.
While the Information & Broadcasting portfolio was earlier held by Prakash Javadekar, who resigned hours before the Cabinet reshuffle, Kiren Rijiju was given the portfolio of MoS (independent charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports. Kiren Rijiju has now been elevated as cabinet minister and will be taking charge of the Law and Justice portfolio.
As MoS Finance, Thakur, a four-time BJP MP, had been among the central government’s main defenders on the economic front, especially amid the Covid-induced strain. As I&B Minister, he will have to steer the proposed Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which is currently in the stage of public consultation. Centre had sought public comments on the draft bill starting 18 June. However, the draft bill has invited criticism from the film fraternity, which has expressed concerns over its execution.
Soon after assuming charge of office,Thakur said that prime minister Modi has made strenuous efforts to take the nation forward in the last seven years and that as Minister of I&B it will be his responsibility to take that mission forward. He also said that he will make all efforts to deliver on the responsibilities placed on him by the prime minister and he looked forward to the cooperation of the media in his efforts. “Modiji has taken the nation forward and I will try to match the confidence the Prime Minister has shown in me. Several people have been in charge of this ministry, and I will take forward the work of the government to the people at large.”
Born on 24 October 1974, Anurag Thakur is a graduate from Doaba College, Jalandhar and is the son of former Himachal Pradesh CM Prem Kumar Dhumal. He was also the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from May 2015 to February 2017.
“I am thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah for giving me this chance. All possible efforts will be made to fulfill the duties,” Thakur said after taking the oath.