Thursday, 20 February 2020

The shrinking of Smriti Irani

Updated: July 28, 2016 12:06 pm

Nothing is wrong with her health, thank heavens for that. Here we are not talking about how much she weighs, but about how much weight she carries in politics. Somehow the HRD portfolio having been shorn from her and she being made in-charge of Textile is considered demotion.

But while conflicting opinions were being expressed and the jury being still out, she was not included in any of the six cabinet committees reconstituted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi whereas many junior ministers were taken into the fold.

6-08-2016In a reshuffle that comes a few weeks after the cabinet rejig, Textile Minister Smriti Irani, who was a special invitee to the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA), was dropped from it.

What do two blows in just a few weeks mean? It seems the Prime Minister wanted to signal that criteria for induction in the cabinet does not include personal likes and dislikes. Jaya Jaitley affirms this.  “Apart from other things, Smriti Irani also suffered for her perceived closeness to the prime minister. Not only has the PM proved that no one can claim that, but has also shown he is capable of assessing performance and doing the needful.

Santosh Gangwar, who was minister of state for petroleum and chemicals, science and technology, and parliamentary affairs — all fairly “meaty” assignments — in the earlier NDA government was never shown as having being “downsized” when he was appointed the textiles minister by Narendra Modi.

The ministry of textiles was, unfortunately, demoted by her attackers to undermine Irani. Apart from the unwarranted virulence towards any woman in public life who is not morally or financially corrupt, it was downright unfair to undermine the immense scope for good work that lies before her on the textiles landscape. It should be a very creative challenge for a woman who has displayed dynamism and pro-activeness, not always to people’s likes, dislikes but the person’s merits. This is what Jaya Jaitley wrote.

At the most Irani has been chastised for her penchant of creating controversies which the party had to deal with.

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