‘Only me in the CCS? Hmm...’

SECRETDIARYOFNARENDRAMODI I am prime min­is­ter, fi­nance min­is­ter, ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ter, de­fence min­is­ter, home min­is­ter...

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - SAUB­HIK CHAKRABARTI

EVEN I am ex­hausted…the phone calls! And I am get­ting con­fused now. Like that phone call from Is­lam­abad…Nawaz-bhai call­ing…I ex­pected this was yet an­other party col­league ask­ing for a min­istry…so I said, with­out think­ing…sorry, I can’t prom­ise you a min­istry. T h e c a l l e r wa s c o n f u s e d … Naren­dra-bhai, this is Nawaz, I am com­ing over, the caller said…I re­cov­ered quickly, like I al­ways do, and war mly cong rat­u­lated Nawazb­hai…but then Nawaz-bhai said…er, Naren­dra-bhai, about a min­istry, if some­thing hap­pens, you know be­cause I am com­ing over…you know…the boys from Rawalpindi… if they tell me you can’t come back… you think you will have a min­istry for me…or what about chief min­is­ter of Pun­jab…didn’t NDA do badly in your Pun­jab… Is this my first diplo­matic vic­tory or is this my first diplo­matic cri­sis? I have asked my core team to find out…mean­while, I have as­sured Nawaz-bhai full co­op­er­a­tion. Two ex­tra­or­di­nary pro­pos­als from the cab­i­net sec­re­tariat…one, that all waves in In­dia’s mar­itime zone should now be of­fi­cially des­ig­nated as Modi Waves and, two, all new car mod­els launched af­ter May 26 should be called Gu­jarat Mod­els…is the bu­reau­cracy re­ally get­ting ef­fi­cient? Must ask the core team to check this out as well… A most puz­zling phone call from Maneka…Naren­dra-bhai, she said, me and Varun, what are we get­ting… I told her noth­ing’s been de­cided…I can’t prom­ise any­thing…she replied they must get some­thing…it’s bet­ter, she said, that a Nehru-Gandhi mother and son duo be in­side a govern­ment than out­side it…look what hap­pened to the pre­vi­ous govern­ment, she said…I have a man­date, I told Maneka…so did Man­mo­han, Maneka said. Also, there was this ter­ri­ble con­fu­sion about the Aruns…I took a call and said, Arun I want you as my FM…but it was

the wrong Arun! But Amit-bhai as­sured me this is fine… Now, Naren­dra-bhai, he said, I’ll call the other Arun and tell him you want him as your FM…Amit-bhai is right, of course. If both Aruns think they are in for FM’s job…there will be ri­valry be­tween two very tal­ented people.

Amit-bhai also sug­gested I needn’t make ei­ther Arun FM...his sug­ges­tion is that I don’t make any­one DM, HM or EAM ei­ther…

Ah! The Gu­jarat model…I am prime min­is­ter, fi­nance min­is­ter, ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ter, de­fence min­is­ter and home min­is­ter…that means the only min­is­ter who’s a mem­ber of the cab­i­net com­mit­tee on se­cu­rity is me…Amit-bhai tells me this will be much more ef­fi­cient…no wast­ing time in CCS meet­ings…sav­ing tax­pay­ers’ money on four min­is­ters…uni­fied pol­icy…no deal­ing with Sushma-ji com­plain­ing that this Arun or that Arun is in CCS but she isn’t…no el­lip­ti­cal re­marks from Ra­j­nath-ji about how he wants to ded­i­cate him­self to party work…you are go­ing to run ev­ery­thing any­way, Amit-bhai said, why not just make it clear. Hmm…may be in the 2019 sarkar…

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