Defence & Finance by the same person – an Oxymoron? 

Is Modi squandering the political capital gained from the UP victory? The nation wants to no!

Is Modi squandering the political capital gained from the UP victory? The nation wants to no!
Is Modi squandering the political capital gained from the UP victory? The nation wants to no!

Ox·y·mo·ron
Noun – a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g., faith unfaithful, kept him falsely true).

While ridiculing the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as part time Defence Minister in the wake of anger on the beheading of Indian soldiers by Pakistan Army, many forgot the basic clash of interests that come when a Finance Minister is also the Defence Minister. One can’t get enough money and the other can’t give any money! We would be curious to know as to who wins the battle when Defence Minister Arun Jaitley fights with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over funding! Though it is the prerogative of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi to allot Cabinet portfolios, in this case he squarely erred in giving the Defence portfolio to the Finance Minister.

As Defence Minister, Jaitley will approve what his staffers and Armed forces say and as Finance Minister he will be in a dilemma, when staffers in Finance Ministry put each proposal from the Defence Ministry under a microscope.

What seemed like a temporary arrangement has drawn out to close to two months (Parrikar left on the 13th of March, 2017). By not effecting a Cabinet reshuffle right after the recently concluded state elections, PM Modi has squandered the political capital he gained with the resounding victory in Uttar Pradesh. The one change, that of easing out Manohar Parrikar also raised a few eyebrows. Perhaps for the first time in the history of independent India, a political party (MGP) gave “conditional support” for a “specific person to be the Chief Minister” of the majority party (BJP) to form a government in Goa.

This is a huge administrative problem apart from clash of interests and morality. Defence Ministry is the biggest expenditure ministry and Finance Ministry’s main job is to monitor the expenditure of all Ministries. Finance Ministry is responsible for cutting the pie so no one goes hungry. In the current scenario, it is difficult to imagine how this will be achieved.

As Defence Minister, Jaitley will approve what his staffers and Armed forces say and as Finance Minister he will be in a dilemma, when staffers in Finance Ministry put each proposal from the Defence Ministry under a microscope. That is why in the past the Finance Minister is always shielded from being given other portfolios. Even though some service ministries such as Corporate Affairs or Registrar of Companies were kept with Finance Ministers on some occasions, no expenditure item is kept with the Finance Ministry.

The BJP has 338 Members of Parliament (MP) – 282 in the Lok Sabha and 56 in the Rajya Sabha. Can’t Modi find a single MP or other Minister in his Cabinet to handle Defence? Recall that Defence was also in part-time mode with Jaitley for six months when Modi became the Prime Minister in May 2014. Why was that done? Why assign two important portfolios to a person who lost Lok Sabha elections with nearly a two lakh margin, when most of the BJP candidates won on the Modi wave?

Strangely, the Opposition, which will disrupt proceedings in the Houses at the drop of a hat has not even issued a whimper of a criticism over this dual role.

One more thing. Why was former General Vijay Kumar Singh, who won as a BJP candidate with more than five lakh vote margin not given the Defence Ministry? Can anybody else claim to be a better expert than him in Defence Ministry related affairs in the BJP?

Let us take a look at his credentials… He is a retired Chief of the Indian Army, lived his whole life as a soldier and won with more than five lakh vote majority. What more does he need? Only disqualification for the General is that he has many detractors in the Arms lobby and some brokers and journalists engaged in “enabling” arms business. So an honest person is not eligible to hold this powerful office?

These Lutyens’ Delhi secrets will come out only when someone writes his/ her memoirs on why Modi gave Defence part-time charge to Finance Minister Jaitley. As Jaitley is the biggest darling of media, they will keep quiet on this questionable decision of the Prime Minister. Strangely, the Opposition, which will disrupt proceedings in the Houses at the drop of a hat has not even issued a whimper of a criticism over this dual role.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Frankenstein ghost thats all i can say. Lots of monkey baat and every now and then some ‘pastries’ like adithyanath to say people that he is still RSS and with hindutva. This ghost shall be killed soon and viraat will comeup soon, he shall be born!!!!afterall never was a time in Indian history ( of thousands of years) a chaaywalla has got to run a nation, may be for obvious reasons, chaaywalaaa is afterall a chaaywaala, a solidier is a soldier… sad.. another four years wasted

  2. It is high time PM gives up Arun Jaitley. AJ is a good lawyer. That’s all. He is not handling finance portfolio efficiently. How can he handle Defence also? Still morons like PC, Robert Vadra, Sonia GaundhaI, 2G famous Raja, Kanimozhi, Kalanidhi Maran, Dayanidhi Maran of DMK, Pappu Rahul Gaundhai are in the open and are trying to behave as if they are very honest people. The cases filed against them are moving at snail’s pace.
    Take the examples of recent IT & ED raids conducted in TN – raids at the home of then Chief Secretary Mr. Rammohsna Rao, one current minister Mr.Vijaya Bhaskar etc have gone into the sleeping mode. General Public are getting slowly disgusted and are loosing the confidence on PM. When there is a raid by IT & ED, things should be transparent and the issues should take the logical progress with the normal pace.
    It is better that PM wake up to all these issues and find a new FM and DM. Otherwise he may loose elections soon.

  3. This Jaitley will finish Modi. A joke received in WhatsApp : Modi started his life with a Kaitley (Kettle) and end up with Jaitley

  4. Almost 60% of term got over and 3 year report card time has come. What has the present NDA/predominantly BJP led Govt under Modi has achieved till date? I see it is suffocating and changing goalposts often in public discourse/debate to hide its inefficiency in governance (jobs,”real” savings/investment (not phantom FII/FDI),anti-corruption etc) by clamping down restrictions on most media by giving a prescription to comply with,RTI limitation,key posts kept vacant etc and also now trying to go aggressive(often violent to point of naive/self-destructive) on Hindutva leg of its tripod to mask its other weak/struggling legs of tripod. God save

  5. One has to research and understand and realise who is really running India..
    And dont be surprised if Sharad Vibhushan Pawar is a consensus candidate for President. The present one was known in the 80’s as the ex-officio President of a large corporate.
    There are very few things that Swamy does not know. But apparently he plays his own game.

    • He plays his “Long game” often exaggerates stuff to xtremes.Who know he is naive or deliberately just trying to be smarter to deceive others politically as well as not to be guessed easily by others?

      • I would put it this way. There’s a lot of good in what he does. There is selective amnesia when it comes to doing equally or more good on other things, ie on ruling party scams for example.
        If he exaggerates, it means he understands it needs to be done to get across to the mass of stupid Indians. I call them stupid because they are besotted with cinema, wealth and power. Ethics, honesty and values do not exist amongst the vast majority. Perhaps it is due to the injustice and corruption and survival. But religion, upbringing and basic values should be in the forefront and be paramount.

  6. Jokers who are running joker party should realise that the party will gain strength only when they start identifying leaders with substance , groom them to take on higher responsibilities.They have no clue or education to understand how to streamline education,how to makes courts work,how to build reliable relationship with countries,how to maximise potential in agriculture, how to energise economy.In other words joker party too is full of jokers whose only aim is to sit in power and loot like the congis crooks have done.They are all waiting when the scheming buddha will start changing tack.Current ones surrounding 56″ are a bunch of nincompoops.56″ is fast loosing steam when faced with critical issues in Pakistan/Kashmir/economy/law and order.What he is doing is the same trodden path of the crooked congis.Right now he has got all the chaddis in his fist..voters too are mesmerised by this scheming buddha as there are no credible leaders within joker party or in opposition.As long as he wants the looser “Jai Italy”, nothing can anyone in chaddis or others like us neutrals can do.Just grin and bear this combination of deaf smith and Johhny looser.

    • Make in India- Investment and contracts in Defense- should provide you fodder for your thoughts. Others needs outweigh India’s needs.

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