Rajnath takes charge of Home

Rajnath takes charge of Home

Rajnath takes charge of Home

BJP president Rajnath Singh on Thursday took over as Union Home Minister. His immediate tasks will include handling the Naxal menace, terrorism and strengthening the intelligence mechanism.

Singh, who was elected from the Lucknow seat and took his oath of office on Monday, will also have to look into matters like infiltration from Pakistan and illegal immigration from Bangladesh.

A member of the all-powerful Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), Singh was briefed by senior officials led by Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami on the issues related to the ministry.

Before assuming charge, Singh paid floral tributes to country's first Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, at his statue near Parliament.

"The contribution of Sardar Patelji to the unity of the country has been tremendous. Country cannot repay what he has done for (it). Sardar Patel was the first Home Minister of the country and I came here to take his blessings before taking charge," he told reporters.

Kiren Rijiju also took charge as the Minister of State for Home Affairs at his North Block office.

Singh is assuming the charge of the Ministry which, it was speculated, would be bifurcated for the purpose of bringing the Internal Security Department under the Prime Minister's Office as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plans for a sleek government. However, the bifurcation was not carried out keeping in mind the stature of Singh and that he would not be keen to preside over a truncated ministry.

The task has been cut out for Singh with the party manifesto outlining the priority areas on the internal security front.

It includes reviving the anti-terror mechanism that had been "dismantled by the Congress", strengthen the NIA and put a system in place for swift and fair trial of terror-related cases and reform National Security Council.

The BJP manifesto had said digital and cyber security will be a thrust area and the government should insulate intelligence agencies from political intervention and interference.