Was Smriti Irani's reshuffling to the boondocks of textile a reproach from the govt?

| Thursday, July 7, 2016 - 11:44
First Published |
Smriti Irani, HRD ministry, Human resources and Development, Narendra Modi, Cabinet reshuffle, Prakash Javadekar, Kanhaiya Kumar,

Smriti's penchant for generating controversies had led to constant quarrels with BJP party chief Amit Shah

New Delhi: Since her stint with the NDA government as the Human Resources and Development Minister, Smriti Irani has been garlanded with a string of controversies, mostly being the exchange of verbal onslaught the HRD minister has not shied away from. When the Modi government announced in its big cabinet reshuffle that Irani's office will be transferred to that of textile, the fish-bone was apparent.

A source close to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed that the government had long taken cognizance of the way Irani was muddled in controversies and the way she dealt with them. Her penchant for generating controversies had led to constant quarrels with BJP party chief Amit Shah.

One of the biggest controversies that crept up during her tenure was an unrest that spread around prominent universities across the country. The Kanhaiya Kumar controversy saw the government on sticky wicket, and though Irani staunchly defended her stance, a lasting damage had already been done.

A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader professed that due to Irani defending herself in times of trouble by taking the ideology of the sangh, the government had been needlessly brought in to defend her.

While some interpret this move as ‘demotion’ of the HRD minister, others have claimed that it is the Modi government's objective of improving the textile economy which had been the primary motive behind the move.

Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, has been brought in as replacement of Smriti Irani as the HRD minister.

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If being at the centre of controversy is reason enough to "demote" a Minister,would you like a list of controversial Ministers in the Cabinet who have been in the news for worse reasons than Smriti has been. A senior Minister's son who was reprimanded for accepting bribes for arranging postings (and the Minister is a trusted lieutenant of Modi), another woman minister who tweeted against a colleague,throwing etiquette to the winds, another senior worthy who has been seen as a permanent ally of a shady news channel, and many more. Smritis controversies have been centred around personal charges made against her by a caged opposition unable to cite anything more serious than her "edu" status or about her small screen background, which any selfrespecting female should take by the horn. If the Prime Minister expected her to sidestep this, for political expediency, it is an insult to the astitva of the lady. For a true Indian lady, her image and reputation are more valued than mere pelf or power and I think Smriti has it in her to ditch her job if push comes to shove, and she has more than articulated this resolve of hers in her recent brush with controversy with a lowly ConGrass soldier. But to believe that her controversies have conspired to keep her out of HRD would be naive to say the least. For everyone who has followed recent history will know that Narendra Modi himself has gone through the agnipariksha of vilification, slander, blame, trolling, defamation and what have you without being affected one bit till the vacuous campaign by a tired out media just had to back off. Her feisty campaign in Amethi and later is enough indication of the value she brings to the BJP, much more than many so called "seniors" in the Government. Textiles was a function requiring some move on and Smriti had set the tone for changes in HRD and the textile policy needed a doer to get it going. If she was an embarrassment to Modi, she would have been dropped altogether instead of showering the higher responsibility fo managing the future of a major industry in India. Obviously, interested elements are happy to read motives into the reshuffle, but the reading looks faulty at the least and motivated at worst.

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