POSTED BY Buzz ON Dec 14, 2013 AT 17:41 IST ,  Edited At: Dec 14, 2013 17:41 IST

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, in a press conference addressed also by senior ministers P. Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal, has appealed to the opposition parties to pass the Lokpal Bill that is to be presented in Parliament on Monday, December 16.

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Dec 14, 2013 AT 17:41 IST, Edited At: Dec 14, 2013 17:41 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 29, 2013 AT 22:59 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 29, 2013 22:59 IST

Ashok Desai is in fine form as always, and delivers some of the best lines on the finance minister in recent times:

He does not take shelter behind his advisers like the prime minister, who seldom gives his own views. He is often wrong, which makes it easier to criticize his interpretation. It is impossible to find such a riveting combination of intelligence and fallibility. The nation is likely to be stuck with him for many years; a columnist would hope never to be without him.

Recently, he has been strangely silent. That cannot be due to his critics, for he hits out at them with abandon and then forgets them.


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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 29, 2013 AT 22:59 IST, Edited At: Oct 29, 2013 22:59 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Sep 22, 2012 AT 18:26 IST ,  Edited At: Sep 22, 2012 18:26 IST

Aditi Phadnis in the Business Standard:

Singh conveyed to Chidambaram well before he was made finance minister that he was getting the job. Chidambaram had some conditions. “It is easy to be finance minister during a boom,” he told Singh. “But times are bad.” Just as PV Narasimha Rao had backed his finance minister (Singh), would Singh back him and keep the wise men of the party out of his hair? Singh told Chidambaram that he would get his full support. He also promised to intercede on his behalf with the party.

Actually, this was unnecessary. Chidambaram has a new place in the dispensation at 10 Janpath since he became home minister in 2008. He has taken a lot upon himself, including the blame for making an “announcement” offering to think about granting statehood to Telangana — when it wasn’t his idea at all but that of the MP from Amethi; in fact he had counselled against it. The party realised later that it was a mistake and it was left to Chidambaram to take the flak — which he did without complaining. When he became finance minister, Chidambaram met Congress President Sonia Gandhi several times to explain how delicately poised the Indian economy was, between stupendous success in hard times and complete disaster...

...at the end of the day, the transition from “with Mamata” to “without Mamata” has, if you think about it, been pretty smooth — leading the chatterati to ask why it wasn’t done sooner. The answer seems to be: because Chidambaram was not the finance minister...

..Is Chidambaram becoming to the government what Mukherjee was? Actually, a lot more. It is Chidambaram, with his unique powers of persuasion, who is now going to act as the channel of communication between 10 Janpath and the PMO. Unlike in the past, nothing will be lost in translation.

Read the full piece at the Business Standard: The Knight In Veshti

So why is the Rahul-was-behind- the-Telangana-statehood-announcement story out now? One obvious possibility: it was clearly a blunder way back then, but now when Congress is close to granting it, perhaps it wants some of the goodwill in the new state to transfer to the yuvraj.

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Sep 22, 2012 AT 18:26 IST, Edited At: Sep 22, 2012 18:26 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Jul 31, 2012 AT 22:04 IST ,  Edited At: Jul 31, 2012 22:04 IST

Yesterday it was the northern grid which tripped, and it repeated the performance today, with the eastern and north-eastern grids joining in, leaving more than 600 million Indians in 21 states powerless  for several hours today.

The irony could not have been starker, as the power minister Sushilkumar Shinde was elevated as home minister today while the erstwhile home minister, P Chidambaram, was made the finance minister to step into the shoes of Mr Pranab Mukherjee. 

As the country struggled with the world's biggest blackout, corporate affairs minister M Veerappa Moily was given the additional charge of power ministry.

Some of the reactions on Twitter:

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Jul 31, 2012 AT 22:04 IST, Edited At: Jul 31, 2012 22:04 IST
POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Oct 27, 2011 AT 23:42 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 27, 2011 23:42 IST

Ashok Sanjay Guha in the Telegraph:

Selling an asset at a rate far below the market price has two sets of consequences. First, it creates an incentive for the first buyer to resell, directly or in a roundabout fashion, as soon as it is possible to pocket the enormous margin between his purchase price and the market price. Second, the possibility of such enormous profit generates an excess demand for the asset in the first round: potential buyers have, in consequence, an overwhelming incentive to offer bribes to the arbiters of the sale process so as to influence the allocation of licences in their own favour. These are not mere hypothetical possibilities. They can be predicted with perfect certainty as the inevitable outcomes of pricing below the market rate.

...When they decided on the 2G policy, were the prime minister and the finance minister totally oblivious of the logical implications? Had Manmohan Singh left his knowledge of economics behind at Oxford or at the Delhi School? Had Chidambaram forgotten his experience of corporate management and law? Having given their blessings to the sale of a scarce resource far below market price, was it not incumbent on them to exercise the strictest vigilance so as to avert the predictable consequences — bribery and loot? Instead, Singh instructed his officers to keep themselves ‘at arm’s length’ from the goings-on in the telecom department. Was this complicity or child-like innocence? I leave the reader to draw his own conclusions.

Read on at the Telegraph: A Saga of Personal Gains

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POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Oct 27, 2011 AT 23:42 IST, Edited At: Oct 27, 2011 23:42 IST
     
 
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