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Home > News > Capital Buzz

Virendra Kapoor | June 16, 2003

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is livid, we hear. At a certain gentleman called Syed Shahnawaz Hussain.

Vajpayee would like nothing better than to sack Hussain from the National Democratic Alliance ministry. But he can't afford that pleasure, at least not until he finds another Muslim candidate to represent India's largest minority community.

What the PM finds maddening is the allegations against Hussain, who was civil aviation minister till recently, and now heads textiles.

A recent complaint was from an Air-India official, who said someone from the minister's office demanded Rs 200,000 from her for a routine promotion.

IA Managing Director Sunil Arora, a Rajasthan cadre IAS officer, brought the complaint to Hussain's notice. But the minister reportedly said, 'Forget it, there is nothing in it.'

Whereupon Arora, fearing an inquiry if the official approached the Vigilance Commission, sought Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat's help.

Shekhawat took it up with the prime minister, who wanted Hussain's head right then. But he couldn't find a suitable replacement, though he did sound out BJP General Secretary Mukthar Abbas Naqvi, who politely declined.

But Prabhu Chawla said�

When he found himself shifted to the textiles ministry, Hussain wasn't sure whether he had been promoted or demoted.

So he asked one of his senior bureaucrats where textiles figured in the ministerial hierarchy vis-a-vis civil aviation.

"This ministry is far bigger and far more important than civil aviation, sir," the bureaucrat said. "The budget is far bigger and it offers much better scope for serving millions of people."

And Hussain murmured, "Is that so? But [India Today Group Editor] Prabhu Chawla told me I was demoted..."

Raje's choice

The BJP's Rajasthan president Vasundhara Raje is completely lost in the cutthroat world of politics. Perforce, she has to depend on others to show her the ropes.

But her choice of a political adviser in Chander Raj Singhvi has proved controversial.

Singhvi, in his mid-60s, had been a Congressman throughout, a member of the All India Congress Committee. He gravitated towards the BJP when the party came to power at the Centre.

Many in the BJP want him out, but Raje says she needs him.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

Capital Buzz

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Number of User Comments: 11

Sub: fate of democracy

This is the exact fate of the democracy. And this is what the difference of India and China. If the same thing has happened in ...

Posted by Jiji

Sub: what..

"Biggest minority in india" -- Then it is no more a minority. we should stop treating muslims as minority.

Posted by abhay

Sub: Kudos

kudos to the lady who chose to take up the issue of bribery with the higher ups. In todays India, people normally succumb to such ...

Posted by Sebastian

Sub: Shame to be INDIAn

I feel it is shame to be called an INDIAn for Hussain and the person who promoted or demoted him (i dont not only hussain ...

Posted by Sharma

Sub: vajpayee is angry

to manage a big country and a big cabinet is really tough task to anyone that too a person like vajpayeeji who is aged. the ...

Posted by g.shankar



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