OUT OF FOCUS
The finance minister is missing from a historic Parliament picture
Can photoshop redeem what Lok Sabha has lost? Having forgotten, intentionally or otherwise, to invite Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to a photo session on the historic occasion of the 60th anniversary of the first sitting of Parliament, Lok Sabha officials are wondering whether technology can rectify matters.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had nothing worthwhile by way of an explanation: “The Lok Sabha Secretariat and Rajya Sabha Secretariat give information through their bulletins. I see the bulletins regularly and this ( the group photograph session) had come up several times. I cannot say anything more than that.”
In a party where the high command doesn’t believe in saying anything, and doing even less,
MUKHERJEE WITH GANDHI DURING A UPA MEETING
Mukherjee’s absence has led to much speculation. Could the communication error mean the Congress president wants him to be elevated from Parliament to Rashtrapati Bhavan? Or could it be that the parliamentary affairs ministry mandarins didn’t know where to seat him and at what distance from Sonia Gandhi?
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha says it is a “major lapse on the part of whoever organised it. Merely informing his office is not enough. The photograph is incomplete without him”. Biju Janata Dal leader P. K. Patsani has made the other obvious point: How could a Government perennially in trouble forget to include its ace troubleshooter in its hour of celebration?