Indian finance minister Jaitley becomes minister of defence

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India’s finance minster, Arun Jaitley, has been given additional responsibilities as minister of defence, after the previous incumbent, Manohar Parrikar, resigned to become chief minister of the coastal state of Goa.

Mr Parrikar, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, will be sworn in as Goa’s new chief minister on Tuesday, three days after the results in a set of just concluded state elections.

The Congress party, led by Rahul Gandhi, emerged as the largest political party in Goa, which had been previously ruled by the BJP. But the Congress fell short of a majority, and the BJP was able to win over support from independents and others to form a government and return to power.

Mr Jaitley will inherit a long agenda as defence minister, ranging from modernisation India’s armed forces in terms of its equipment and operational capacity to bolstering indigenous defense production to reforms of the higher management of the services.

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