The news media couldn’t have asked for more. The day after the swearing-in saw a controversial statement on Article 370 followed by clarification as also an outburst by a Congman on Smriti Irani’s qualifications.
Day 2 saw both becoming full-blown controversies. Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah got into the act, and the hawks from across the border were having a field day. Enough for all our channelwallahs to go to town with it.
As for sharp-mouthed Irani, am sure he must be wanting to say: Kyunki minister bhi kabhi mistake kar sakti hai. Someone said the discrepancies in the two affidavits filed was due to a printing mistake. Ouch, couldn’t they have come up with a new one.
I am not sure if others feel the same but I thought Rajdeep Sardesai and Arnab Goswami tried their bit to defend the Modi government. It was as if they tried to tell others that they should desist from raising too much of a fuss against a newly established government that has been elected with a massive mandate.
I guess it’s the honeymoon period for Mr Modi & Co and our editors will be extra kind to them. Meanwhile, it’s good to see Congress spokespersons get into the Opposition mode pretty quick. Interesting that Priyanka Chaturvedi, herself in politics since 2010, raise questions about Smriti Irani. But more than the folks from Congress, the BJP found one of its own – Madhu Kishwar – create a fuss about Irani being the HRD minister.
It appeared to be a case of sour grapes for Ms Kishwar, who must’ve expected to be the Women’s and Social Welfare mantri instead of Maneka Gandhi. But then you can’t give Ms G any sensitive ministry like environment or commerce or the like. She would’ve made life miserable for industry. So the once firebrand activist lost out, and started crying foul. Never a dull moment for us media-watchers! :-)
Pradyuman Maheshwari is a senior journalist and editor. When he’s not chasing news, he’s watching it.