The ‘strong’ man
Recent reshuffle in the UPA government has sparked a series of discussions in the political arena as it has failed to send out any clear message but there are many appointments which sent their message clearly. One such appointment was that of Salman Khurshid as Union Law Minister. AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh made a statement that Suresh Kalmadi was innocent. And merely two days after this statement a very close and good friend of Kalmadi is appointed Law Minister. People are wondering whether the appointment of a close friend of Kalmadi as Law Minister is an indication to save him or keep a grip on him so that he couldn’t leak any inside information, which might cause trouble for the party’s ultimate boss.
Odisha state BJP is in a miserable state but it seems it is not learning any lesson yet. Though its position in the assembly reduced from 32 to 7 members, the state leadership doesn’t care much about the grassroots workers. The biggest example is three-time MLA Jai Narayan Mishra. He is unable to understand why the party is ignoring him nowadays. A brilliant football player and excellent organiser, Mishra has shown his capabilities by getting elected three times in succession. He was state cabinet minister of transport in the alliance government of Odisha and he was awarded thrice as best minister and legislature of the government. He raised many issues in the assembly which created ripples in the Navin Patnaik government. Even though he is a sitting MLA, he is not given any responsibility in the party. However, one former state president, now a rebel, has been saying for the last five years about Mishra that he will leave the party. Recently, Mishra was in Delhi for the promotion of football in the state. As a gifted football player, Mishra knows well how to put the ball in the goalpost, but how he missed the opportunity is being asked in corridors of power.
Recently when three serial bomb blasts shook the whole nation, many cabinet ministers of the UPA government were seen undisturbed from the ghostly incident. Soon after the news of the bomb blasts spread like a wildfire, journalists in New Delhi had started trying to get comments of ministers. A female journalist reached the residence of a very senior member of the cabinet who sits at the Raisina Hills. She was shocked to see that despite the disturbing news of bomb blasts, the minister was relaxing and was not ready to meet any journalist because he was waiting for his female friend. That minister spent more than an hour with his female friend and then turned up to meet the press. Similarly, another cabinet minister, who hails from a tribal-dominated state was seen at a fashion programme next day after the bomb blasts. People were shocked to see the extreme chilling out behaviour of their ministers.
Sonia Gandhi has once instructed in the last plenary session of the party that ministers should also care for the organisation as it is the organisation which made them minister. But hardly anyone acted upon it. So, it was very interesting to see that Rajiv Shukla, who came directly to the party headquarters just after taking the oath of ministership. He touched the feet of Janardan Dwivedi and also took blessings of other party leaders. While other ministers were busy with their celebrations, at least one minister remembered the organisation.