New Delhi , Sept 3 : Newly-appointed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is only the second woman after late Indira Gandhi to become the Defence Minister of India, and the first one to take independent charge.
While Indira Gandhi was additionally the Prime Minister of India when she took charge as the Defence Minister, Sitharaman has been entrusted with complete responsibility of the Ministry.

Sitharaman previously served as a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs and the Minister for Commerce and Industry with independent charge, and now succeeds Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to take charge of the defence ministry.

Speaking to ANI, Sitharaman expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on her appointment, and stated that the presence of two women in the Cabinet Committee on Security, namely External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and she, itself sends out a strong message.

"I am thankful to Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shahji for entrusting me with this responsibility. With this, there are now two women on the Cabinet Committee on Security, that is, Sushma ji and myself. This itself sends out a strong message," said an elated Sitharaman.

Sitharaman, one of the four to be elevated to Cabinet rank, represents Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha.

A Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) alumnus, Sitharaman joined the BJP in 2006 as its national spokesperson and Prime Minister Modi's ministry in 2014.

(Posted on 03 September 2017, 1675361431 3O237O29O69)