IN politics and war, everything is possible. So hold your breath. There are rumours in the market that firebrand advocate and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may be shifted to the Ministry of External Affairs. Jaitley has both admirers and adversaries. His adversaries have reportedly suggested to Modi that demonetisation is a wonderful scheme but it’s implementation by Jaitley has created chaos across India. The rumour of his shift is an old one but it has gathered momentum as Subramaniam Swamy and renowned advocate Ram Jethmalani are advocating his removal. As Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs, is not keeping well, she may remain a minister without portfolio and Jaitley will take over. Who, then, will be the new Finance Minister? If insiders are to be believed, Piyush Goel is likely to take over as the new finance minister. Though he belongs to the Jaitley camp, his performance as a minister has been outstanding. The only apprehension about his elevation is that he belongs to a very powerful business school of Mumbai. Piyush is an old RSS hand and his father Ved Prakash Goel was BJP treasurer. Insiders report that the shifting of Jaitley from Finance to External Affairs suits Modi to convey that Jaitley could not manage the demonetisation though the scheme was good. So far, Jaitley has been a survivor against all odds. Given his influence and grip on the party and government, it’s to be seen how he manages.
VOL. 10 | ISSUE 9 | DEC 2016