Nirmala Sitharaman today taken charge of the defence ministry. She became the first full-time woman defence minister and the second woman to take charge of the key portfolio. Indira Gandhi, as then Prime Minister, had also held the portfolio in the seventies.
She took charge in the presence of her predecessor Arun Jaitley who was given the additional charge of the key ministry in March after Manohar Parrikar quit the union cabinet to become the chief minister of Goa.
“My priority will definitely be the armed forces preparedness. It is important that the Indian armed forces receive the attention in terms of giving them every endowment and equipment necessary for them to perform their duty with the best of equipment available,” she said in a message after assuming charge.
“It will be a priority for me to ensure the smooth and speedy implementation of defence deals and projects,” she told
Sitharaman was elevated to the cabinet rank on Sunday and given the defence portfolio.
Senior officials of the ministry were present and she briefly interacted with them after taking over as the minister.
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