February 01, 2006


Cabinet expansion - hypocrisy and irony

In the recent Cabinet expansion, Mr Shibu Soren was again inducted as Coal Minister. Six months back he was a fugitive, wanted in a 30-year old mass murder case. This is the same Govt and the same party which expelled MPs in the cash-for-question scam.

Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde is awarded with Power portfolio for his loyal service to the party. I should be really happy to know a politician from hometown, Solapur, has climbed to a very important position. But I am far from that chauvinistic and boastful thought. He is the same man who pushed Maharashtra in the darkness by announcing utterly populist sops like free power for the farmers in the state. Before announcing free power, he should have checked the abnormally high Transmission and Distribution losses of the electricity board. Worldwide these losses are between 6% (USA) to 13%(Russia, China). In Maharashtra (and country), these losses are as high as 35-40%. Everybody is aware that "T&D losses" is an euphemism for daylight robbery. Maharashtra is expected to have power problem for next, at least, 5 years!

One of very few (only?) admirable personalities from Shiv Sena, Mr Suresh Prabhu was Power Minister in NDA government. But his rising popularity as an honest and efficient minister didn't go down well with party supremo. He was called back.

Power Ministry will remain one more portfolio which is craving for good leadership.

In India as it is cabinet posts are a bit of a sham. In the presidential system, an expert is appointed and he continues in his fielf of expertise. One of my friends in project consultancy business told me how one minister of state for power did not even know what megawatt was.

Suresh prabhu's case was particularly sad. He was impeccable. I felt so strongly on his dismissal that I wrote a poem on it at that time.
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