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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Fifty-Six, Pick Up The Sticks

Politics over Lalitgate may yet shape the future Modi cabinet

Fifty-Six, Pick Up The Sticks
PTI
Fifty-Six, Pick Up The Sticks
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Quitters Don’t Win

Why Modi will want to back Sushma Swaraj, for now

Despite her socialist background, RSS has buried its old reservations about Sushma Swaraj; sees her retention in cabinet as a weapon to check Narendra Modi

If Modi sacks her after holding out, it will be seen as a “victory” for those within the cabinet who have never seen eye to eye with her, perhaps even plotted against her

Dropping Sushma now will open the floodgates for Congress to target others in the cabinet charged with corruption, like RSS favourite Nitin Gadkari, named by the CAG

Acceding to Opposition demands for Sushma’s head after backing her for 40 days will be seen as a comedown by a leader perceived to be strong and decisive

Removing the Union external affairs minister, whose performance Modi only recently commended in public, will also expose the BJP’s poor bench strength

With Bihar elections round the corner, the best bet would be to wait for a favourable verdict and reshuffle the cabinet, possibly armed with a ‘Kamaraj Plan’

***

She is one of the grand women of contemporary Indian politics who has had dramatic ups and downs, a process annotated by the rhetorical flourish of her speeches made in chaste Hindi. But she had been rather quiet in the reign of Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Sushma Swaraj was seen as someone who was keeping a low profile, and doing her work quietly as the Union minister of external affairs, a portfolio in which she was visibly overshadowed by the PM himself.

But whatever peace she attained by keeping her head low has gone. The script changed two months ago when her actions in...

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