Former IAS officer Alphons Kannanthanam appointed a MoS in ministry of IT

Cabinet Reshuffle Two Former Bureaucrats One Retired Diplomat Ex Cop Among 9 New Faces In Team Modi

In the third revamp of his Cabinet, Modi gave India its first full time woman Defence Minister in form of Nirmala Sitharaman.

Kannanthanam, a practising advocate at Kerala High Court and Supreme Court, was an IAS officer from the 1979 batch, Kerala cadre.

Four junior ministers were today elevated to the cabinet rank and nine new faces, including four former government officers, inducted as Ministers of State, in a rejig by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a focus on his agenda on good governance.

Worth mentioning here is the fact that this might be the last cabinet reshuffle before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Kannanthanam said that he is surprised to get a new position and was not expecting this.

Union Minister Mahesh Sharma, who was holding the charge of the tourism ministry along with the Ministry of Culture, was shifted to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change as the Minister of State.

Ever since news surfaced that there would be a reshuffle and expansion of the Modi ministry, the names that figured prominently as probables from Kerala were actor-turned-Rajya Sabha member Suresh Gopi, state BJP president Kummanem Rajasekheran and former state BJP president V Muraleedharan. He also said that despite portfolio, he would serve as Kerala's voice at Centre.

Mr. Rajasekharan said Mr. Kannanthanam had joined the BJP after being disillusioned with the alternate rule by the Left Democratic Front and the United Democratic Front. Was elected to the Kerala assembly the same year as a CPI (M)-backed independent candidate from Kanjirappally. Tipped to be the administrator of Chandigarh previous year, the former MLA from Kanjirappally seat was earlier backed by CPI (M).

Rajagopal was elected to the Rajya Sabha for two terms from 1992 from Madhya Pradesh.

He began a literacy drive in Kottayam as the collector and turned it into the country's first 100% literate district. This got him listed in Time Magazine's list of 100 Young Global Leaders in 1994. Alphons became famous as Delhi's "Demolition Man" when he headed the Delhi Development Authority, having cleared DDA areas of encroachment removing around 15,000 illegal buildings.

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