March 13, 2017 / 11:27 AM / 5 months ago

Indian finance minister takes on defence portfolio as well

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses a delegation while speaking on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) issues during the Vibrant Gujarat investor summit in Gandhinagar, India January 11, 2017.Amit Dave

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has also been appointed defence minister, the office of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee tweeted on Monday, after he held such a dual role in 2014.

The previous defence minister, Manohar Parrikar, stepped down on Sunday to become Chief Minister of the Western state of Goa.

Election results on Saturday showed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to be the second most popular party in the coastal state, but it will form the regional government after obtaining the support of smaller parties.

The BJP, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm, swept polls in the key northern state of Uttar Pradesh, as well as the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.

Jaitley held the posts of finance and defence minister from May to November 2014. It was not immediately clear how long he would keep the two portfolios this time round.

Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Rafael Nam and Nick Macfie

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