CHOUHAN, RAJE, RA­MAN SINGH MAY BE IN­DUCTED INTO UNION CAB­I­NET

The Sunday Guardian - - The Big Story - CON­TIN­UED FROM P1

trols the gov­ern­ment and even if the best tal­ents are roped in, they would have to play se­cond fid­dle to the all pow­er­ful PMO. To il­lus­trate their ar­gu­ment, it is pointed out that the for­eign pol­icy is enun­ci­ated not in the Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs but in the PMO. Sim­i­larly, key de­ci­sions re­gard­ing other min­istries in­clud­ing Fi­nance, Home and De­fence are initi- ated only af­ter the bu­reau­cracy in the PMO gives a green sig­nal. In Septem­ber last, Home Min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh had of­fered to quit fol­low­ing re­ports that he could be shifted. How­ever, he was per­suaded to stay on. There­fore, the party’s ad­ver­saries be­lieve that it does not mat­ter who is head­ing which min­istry, since it is the PMO alone which calls the shots.

Within the Sangh Pari­var, where there is a grow­ing un­ease over the se­lec­tion of the nom­i­nees for the Lok Sabha elec­tions, it is thought that the party should func­tion in the man­ner in which it did in 2014. In other words, it should be more in­clu­sive, rather than ig­nor­ing the rights of the elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives to be heard be­fore they are sub­sti­tuted. In this con­text, sev­eral BJP MPs have al­ready started look­ing for greener pas­tures else­where. At least one Lok Sabha MP from Delhi is un­der­stood to have com­menced a di­alogue with other par­ties. Ear­lier in the week, Sav­itri Bai Phule, the BJP MP from Bahraich in Ut­tar Pradesh ex­ited the saf­fron brigade, cit­ing the dis­crim­i­na­tion against Dal­its as her prin­ci­pal rea­son.

The ray of a re­al­is­tic hope is that Modi con­tin­ues to be the sin­gu­lar undis­puted leader of the coun­try, whose mass ap­peal stretches way be­yond any of his ri­vals. He is a mas­ter cam­paigner, who does not leave any­thing to chance, but pours his en­tire en­ergy in putting across his party’s point of view. He is a re­lent­less spear­head, whose plus point is that he does not hes­i­tate in tread­ing un­ex­plored paths. It is said that even the best of gen­er­als some­times have to taste de­feat, in order to make them com­plete mil­i­tary lead­ers. A de­feat in the Assem­bly polls would only spur Modi to achieve greater heights, pro­vided the peo­ple con­tinue to back him.

RE­LIANCE HAND­OUT/IANS

Re­liance In­dus­tries chair­man Mukesh Am­bani and his wife Nita Am­bani re­ceive for­mer US First Lady and for­mer US Sec­re­tary of State, Hil­lary Clin­ton on her ar­rival at the pre-wed­ding func­tion of their daugh­ter Isha Am­bani with Anand Pi­ra­mal, in Udaipur, Ra­jasthan, on Satur­day. For­mer head of ad­ver­tis­ing gi­ant WPP, Martin Sor­rell, BP Group CEO Bob Dud­ley, Huff­in­g­ton Post founder Ari­anna Huff­in­g­ton, 21st Cen­tury Fox CEO James Mur­doch and Saudi En­ergy Min­is­ter Khalid Al-Falih, among oth­ers, are also in­vited.

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