Darkness At Diwali
The Festival of Lights ushers in season for goodwill and diyas. But how can diyas light up the spirit of 14 ministers of the outgoing Congress–NCP government in Maharashtra. It is said that the number of the sweet and dry fruit boxes which used to be delivered at the houses of the vanquished, have come down to almost in single digit. The celebrations at 24, Akbar Road had to be politically motivated. The Royalty never shows emotion in public. How can the Gandhis.
The Crucial Posting
In the first reshuffle in bureaucracy, Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram was replaced by Rajiv Mehrishi, the Chief Secretary of Rajasthan. Interestingly, the announcement was made after he had taken over. Normally, the announcements of appointments and transfers are made in advance. The reason for his selection is said to be that the state pushed dramatic free market reforms, in recent months under the leadership of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje while Mehrishi was the Chief secretary. It is said, that he had worked closely with the CM for some of the most radical reforms ever introduced in India. Arvind Mayaram, while in Washington to attend an annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, said to Wall Street Journal, “What you’ll see is a lot of action which is preparatory to the budget but which includes many of the announcements that the Prime Minister has made recently.”
But he was sceptical about reforms and said that there will be modest changes to labour laws. He had also said that—the ministry isn’t worried about hitting its deficit objective of 4.1 per cent of GDP. The target of nearly 20 per cent growth in tax revenue this year isn’t “unrealistic,” given how quickly receipts continued to grow even over the last few years, when the economy wasn’t growing as quickly. And, revenue this year from selling off stakes in state-run companies is likely to exceed expectations. The Modi Government felt that all of this had sent wrong signals. Mehershi on the other hand, has been playing a vital role in helping Rajasthan CM usher in sweeping reforms, which almost led to leading economist Arvind Panagariya, calling it the Rajasthan Model.
Why Modi Hosted His Ministers
One jokingly said hopefully its not the Biblical Last Supper. The 44 ministers were invited by Narendra Modi for dinner three days before Diwali. Speculations are that it was like a Diwali dinner, others said it could be just a goodwill gesture, while many felt the dinner was a pretext for Modi to finally make-up his mind about some ministers.
Rumours are that reshuffle would be done by him, before the winter session, expected to be convened by the third week of November. Who will be Defence Minister, most are wondering! Well, how about Nirmala Sitharaman. She has acquitted herself exceedingly well as Union Minister of Commerce. She also enjoys confidence of Modi.
Proliferation Of Gaya Rams In Congress
Gaya Rams, one learns, are preparing to jump off the sinking ship of the Congress owned by Mother and Son. Panic has set in, once the Congress rule in Maharashtra and Haryana has been edged out by Narendra Modi’s blitz.
The Congressmen, in nervous sweat ever since the disgraceful defeat in the recent General election, were hoping against hope that Rahul Baba would have learnt some lessons and reorganise the party, to be battle fit for any election in future. But both mother and son, helped by their rootless hanger-ons refused to sync with the demand of party men to re-organise the state units, choose a few credible persons to lead those party units and go on all India campaign to regain the trust of the people. Nothing was done and the two Gandhis remained mounted on their horses. After an initial soul-searching, it was business as usual for them. Sonia would go to the Parliament, when it was in session, but her son was, allegedly travelling most of the time.
They did not conceive any new strategy, to counter the Modi’s prowess to win voters and the result of their just sniping at him, ricocheted. Now more and more party men are surfacing, questioning Rahul’s IQ, his aptitude and ability to lead a party and his interest in politics. The result is that more and more of them are either being expelled or suspended. But after the loss of Maharashtra and Haryana, Congress men themselves are reportedly getting ready to leave the party, even without saying bye to the Gandhis. The mother and son having finally realised the peril they are in and are said to be wooing the veterans, who until now were persona non grata. These old loyalists have been lying low, waiting for opportune time to surface. One of them said, “For party’s sake we are willing to help but not without getting the authority to have a say in the party affairs.”
Tough call for Sonia and Rahul who are used to dictatorial ways!
However, the oldies have little hope that the Gandhis would ever learn some lesson. Now the sycophantic advisers have stated that crores want Rahul to continue leading. How have these crores conveyed their faith in him? Maybe through emails, telephones or might have sent telegrams? If the countryside already has these facilities, Modi is wasting time in upgrading villages!