Saturday, September 11, 2004

With ministers like these....

"Patil does explaining to Sonia, quite a bit," says Pradeep Kaushal in The Indian Express (September 11, 2004 at 0205 hours). Shivraj Patil is colorless even as lacklustre politicians go. His earlier stints as MoS Science and Tech, and then Speaker were consistently devoid of any highlights whatsoever. He is as close you can get to a real life Major Major Major (the Catch 22 character). His appointment as Home Minister after his defeat in the LS polls has the hard to miss stamp of the Congress khichdi cabinet - one which is drawn up by people who have never been out of Lutyens Delhi, with an undistinguished understanding of India, economics, politics and everything else, who prize personal loyalty and servitude over everything else. Not surprisingly his tenure as Home Minister has been disastrous and promises to only get worse. It is true that during LKA's time the Northeast wasn't exactly settled. The borders continued to be soft admitting all sorts of vermin. But whatever their faults, NDA accepted the reality of neglect and tried their best to make new friends and build new relationships with the people at large. This government hasn't gotten used to the fact that the days of the Northeast politicians paying obeisance to New Delhi is over. They may be Congressmen in name but intend to do everything to fight for their share of the federal pie, dissidence be damned. In all this you have an incompetent like Shivraj Patil? Need we say more?

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