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Smriti Irani gets additional charge as MIB minister

NEW DELHI: Actor-turned politician Smriti Zubin Irani has been given the additional charge of the information and broadcasting ministry following the resignation of M Venkaiah Naidu who has been nominated for the post of the country’s vice-president.

Irani will hold this charge in addition to her main ministry, textiles. Welcoming her after the announcement was made by the prime minister Narendra Modi, minister of state Rajyavardhan Rathore tweeted: “Delighted to welcome the sharp, erudite smt. @smritiirani to @mib_india. Looking fwd to working with her in the ministry.”

Nominated to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, Irani had first joined Modi’s  cabinet as Human Resource Development Minister but had been shifted to Textiles in a cabinet reshuffle.

Irani joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2003. She became the vice-president of the Maharashtra Youth Wing in 2004.In the 2004 general elections for the 14th Lok Sabha, she contested unsuccessfully against Kapil Sibal from the Chandni Chowk constituency in Delhi. She was nominated as executive member of the central committee of the BJP. In early 2010, Irani was appointed National Secretary of BJP and on 24 June, she was appointed All India President of the BJP's women's wing, BJP Mahila Morcha.

Irani contested the 2014 general elections against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi and lost. On 26 May 2014, Modi appointed her as the minister of human resource development in his cabinet. Her appointment was criticised by many people owing to her lack of formal higher education.

Irani was born in Delhi to a Bengali mother and a Punjabi father, Ajay Kumar Malhotra. She is the eldest of three sisters. She has been a part of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from childhood as her grandfather was an RSS swayamsevak and her mother a member of Jana Sangh.

Irani was one of the finalists of the beauty pageant Miss India 1998, along with Gauri Pradhan Tejwani. In 1998, Irani appeared in a song "Boliyan" of the album "Saawan Mein Lag Gayi Aag" with Mika Singh. 

In 2008, Irani along with Sakshi Tanwar hosted the show Yeh Hai Jalwa, a dance based reality show featuring celebrities along with their troops on 9X. In the same year she also produced another show on Zee TV, Waaris which ended in 2009. In 2009, she appeared in a comedy show Maniben.com, aired on SAB TV. She also co-produced the show in collaboration with Contiloe Entertainment. In 2012, she worked in Bengali movie Amrita.

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