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THE SOLAR FLARES OF THE 2-G SPECTRUM

There are any number of stories doing the rounds about the Finance Ministry note of March 25, 2011 to the Prime Minister accusing P. Chidambaram ,who was the Finance Minister in 2007 of complicity in licensing spectrum at throw away prices , fixed in 2001 for the first time(a specious argument that has landed the then Telecom Minister A. Raja and several other in jail). Curiosity surrounds the reasons behind the need of such a note, the authors of the note and the objectives of the note and its timing. It has been further compounded by the joint statement made by Mukherjee and Chidambaram! There are many valuable analyses.  One suspicion is that it originated from a rivalry between P. Chidambaram and P. Mukherjee. It goes on to compare the two on the basis of the political weight they carry individually in the party and the government. One analyst calls Chidambaram “lightweight’(Outlook). If Chidambaram is a “lightweight”, Pranab is a “lighterweight”. Stories of both Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee nursing silent ambitions of becoming Prime Minister are old wives tales by now. Such ideas breed a few hundred metres away from 10 Janpath only! How can one even imagine that Pranab is spurred by the PM ambition to attack Chidambaram? Can someone from the Congress even imagine of ascending the throne? Who is most difficult to handle:Chidambaram, Pranab or Manmohan Singh? Why was the controversy raised on the day MMS left for his foreign tour? Is it because he is not obligingly vacating the throne? The political time frame has been readjusted after Sonia’s sudden and mysterious ailment. There is an unseemly hurry to settle the succession issue. Things are uncomfortable in the party. Ambitions of seeing someone other than MMS as the PM in lifetime is looking unachievable. Reputations started getting sullied under a calculated design long ago. Chidambaram was called intellectually arrogant not long ago. It was an aimed shot. Pranab may be a trouble shooter but he can’t create wars of maligning reputations unless carrying out orders of the leadership. He knows it, and had already burnt all his fingers in the past, that he can’t remain even a minister without the party leadership’s blessings, what to talk of becoming PM in this manner. This game of musical chairs, this Noora-Kushti, this drama is going to keep us glued to political trailers before the final act for some more time. The March 2011 note remains on file, the SC judgement is awaited and the Madras HC has to ultimately pronounce the judgement about the validity of Chidambaram’s election to the Lok Sabha,howsoever late it might be. May be billi ke bhagon se jheenka tut hi jaye (luck may smile on his detractors)! Chidambaram was all along seen to cherish the PM ambition.It is image more than standing or following that attracts missile attacks in politics, whether it is Chidambaram or Modi.

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