Opinion

The great shake-up that was not

J. Srinivasan | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on October 30, 2012

THE NEW TEAM: President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with the newly sworn-in ministers at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: S. Subramanium

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As Sherlock Holmes might have said of the mega Cabinet reshuffle, strangely, the dog did not bark. Rahul Gandhi did not bite the bullet after all the hype about the scion joining the Top Team.

The Boss of the Young Brigade has chosen to continue doing party work. Is that a euphemism for calling the shots from behind the scenes? Or, some hesitance for executive responsibility especially if he is not able to handle it or, worse, mishandles it with just about one year to go for elections? Nor was any new young face inducted. Only, some of Rahul’s ‘team’ members were promoted though not to the Cabinet rank but given independent charge of ministries. The average age of the Ministry is still 55 at the Minister of State level and 64 at the Cabinet rank!!

The damp squib got a strange twist, with the Congress deciding to give External Affairs to Salman Khurshid despite the allegations of wrong-doing by his NGO. Good of the party to stand by a loyal soldier but was it good politics? Rest of the exercise was appeasement of the Telangana sentiment, with a large Andhra Pradesh contingent.

All this point painfully to the limited talent in the UPA. And, it does not really look as if this new team is going to help the government solve the many problems it faces — corruption charges, slowing economy, policy limbo, and implementation issues, or ready it for the general elections sooner or later.

The only positive for the UPA and especially the Congress is the absence of any credible alternative. Not at all a great state for the people to be in.

Published on October 30, 2012
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