ONE fine day, Home Minister Rajnath Singh warned that the government would put hoarders of foodgrains behind bars. The Minister for Food and Consumer Affairs is Ram Vilas Paswan, who is considered to be an efficient minister with the heart of a benevolent king. Paswan saw an opportunity to elaborate upon the idea of the Home Minister. He instructed the Secretary of Food and Consumers Affairs to organise a press conference. Paswan briefed his staff to organise a good press kit, i.e. press material with a good quality bag, even before the Secretary could send the invites. In the UPA I regime when Paswan was a Cabinet Minister, it was the routine for the ministry to arrange good quality gifts for his press conferences. Paswan did not sense that the regime has changed from Congress to BJP and largesse is not permitted. The Secretary briefed Paswan. “Sir, we don’t have the provision of funds and we have been instructed to spend money with restraint.” Paswan did not have a solution. The press conference was still held but the journalists who came in the hope of a good gift rather than spicy news were highly disappointed.
Vol. 8, issue 5 | AUGUST | 2014