New Delhi, Oct 19: Union Ministers Smriti Irani and D V Sadananda Gowda have been dropped from Inter-State Council, official sources said today. Irani and Gowda were permanent invitees to the council headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Irani and Gowda were divested of their HRD and Law and Justice portfolios respectively in the last Cabinet reshuffle in July. Irani is now Textiles Minister, while Gowda holds Statistics and Programme Implementation portfolio. Both the ministers were dropped from the council which was reconstituted yesterday, according to an official order. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has been included in the new council.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, who also holds the Law and Justice portfolio, continues to be on the council. The Inter-State Council was established in May 1990 with a mandate to act as a coordinating body between the states and the Centre. It is tasked to inquire into and advising upon disputes which may have arisen between states and also to investigate and discuss subjects in which some or all of the states, or the Union, have a common interest. The Prime Minister had in July chaired the 11th meeting of the council after a gap of nearly ten years. The previous meeting of Inter-State Council was held in December 2006.
The council has as its members chief ministers of all states, chief ministers of union territories having a Legislative Assembly and administrators of union territories not having Legislative Assembly, and six union ministers. The ministers who are its members include Rajnath Singh (Home), Sushma Swaraj (External Affairs), Arun Jaitley (Finance and Corporate Affairs), M Venkaiah Naidu (Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information and Broadcasting), Nitin Gadkari (Road Transport & Highways and Shipping) and Manohar Parrikar (Defence).(ALSO READ: Relief to Smriti Irani in fake degree case: Patiala High Court dismisses plea to summon former HRD Minister)
Ten Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State (Independent Charge) are permanent invitees to the council. Besides Javadekar and Prasad, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ramvilas Paswan, Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot are the permanent invitees.