By Hasan Syed (NVONews.Com)
More than anything else it is the timing of the external affairs minister SM Krishna’s statement that Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi should enter the government which is being questioned.
The statement was given in New Delhi on Wednesday just a day after the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee quit the cabinet to contest the presidential election. He was not alone to leave the cabinet on the day. There was also a disgraced exit of Virbhandra Singh from the Union cabinet on the charges of corruption. He was Micro, Small and Medium Industries (MSM) Minister and his portfolio has been allotted to Science and Technology Minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh. The Finance portfolio has been taken by the Prime Minister himself. But speculation is that very soon there will be a full-fledged Finance Minister. It may be the Planning Commission’s Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, or anyone else.
The resignations created a scope for the cabinet reshuffle and no time would be better than this one to ask Rahul Gandhi to enter the government. Incidentally, Rahul was asked by Krishna to enter the government and there is a slight difference between entering the government and joining the Manmohan Singh cabinet.
Krishna said that Rahul Gandhi’s entry into the government was a “necessary” to help in solving the problems faced by the country. He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had already asked him to join the government and his “invitation” stands.
Krishna is not known for giving statement on the affairs of Congress––in fact he speaks less on external affairs too––yet his statement that “we have always wanted Rahul Gandhi’s involvement in the government” is quite significant.
Grapevine has it that Pranab Mukherjee has been kicked up or elevated to pave the way for Rahul Gandhi’s entry. May be Manmohan Singh retire after playing his second innings in 2014.
So the Congress chose Krishna to test the political waters of the country and not more garrulous like Digvijaya Singh or someone else. As Krishna’s statement carries more weight this time he was chosen to speak on the issue.
Pranab might have been one of the candidates for the post of Prime Minister. But he was there in 1984 too when Rahul’s father took over as the Prime Minister after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Soon after becoming the Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi sidelined him compelling Pranab to leave the party for a brief period.
But as he grew too much in stature in the last three decades he can not be simply ignored. The best way was to make him the President. But Pranab was an asset of a sort too in the government. With he gone and Manmohan Singh aging there is certainly a need for fresh blood in the party. Who else but Rahul Gandhi can provide it, feels a large section of Congressmen.
But will Rahul work in the cabinet of any other Prime Minister? This is a million dollars question. His father did not do that. So may be once again Pranab Da had to make way for him to reach the top. But this time he is not being disgraced.