The fi­nance min­is­ter is miss­ing from a his­toric Par­lia­ment picture

India Today - - NATION - by Shafi Rah­man

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’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?


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