The Cabinet reshuffle was imminent as many key portfolios were lying vacant and the existing ministers were handling additional charges. Indira Gandhi, as then Prime Minister, had also held the portfolio in the seventies.
With the clock ticking, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday shuffled his council of ministers to get the team ready for the crucial 2019 general election.
Among the nine new Ministers of State, three - R K Singh, Hardeep Puri and K J Alphons - have been given independent charge of Power, Housing and Urban Affairs, and Tourism, respectively. However there was no indication of any JD (U) leader making it to the ministry.
Two other former bureaucrats were brought in too - former home secretary R.K. Singh and former Mumbai police commissioner Satya Pal Singh - both of whom are Lok Sabha members.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore replaced Vijay Goel in the Sports Ministry, while also remaining the MoS in the I&B Ministry. Mr Goel, who earlier held independent charge, has been shunted as the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics and Programme Implementation.
Arun Jaitley is all slated to retain Finance ministry.
Reacting to her appointment, Former Defence Minister and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters, "Very excellent, well thought-out decision".
Goyal has been given charge of the railway ministry to take forward reforms initiated by Suresh Prabhu towards corporatization of railways, monetization of the transporter's assets and boosting non-fare revenue to deliver tangible outcomes, analysts said.
PM Modi stripped Cabinet minister Uma Bharti of the charges of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation and handed them over to Nitin Gadkari.