Jobless ministers of state air grievances to PM


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Nov 25, 2009
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Jobless ministers of state air grievances to PM

Panabaka Lakshmi boasts of a tony Lutyen's Delhi bungalow address, and zips around in a shiny white ambassador car with a red beacon
atop. What she doesn't have is work.

Lakshmi happens to be India's junior minister for textiles, and in the eight months since she was sworn in, the only work that has come her way was signing a single official file.
This and more of such occupational heartburn poured out on Tuesday when Lakshmi, along with her junior ministerial colleagues, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to air their grievances.

Minister of state (MoS) for commerce and industry Jyotiraditya Scindia is learnt to have complained that junior ministers are not even told about routine media releases, making them look clueless in front of reporters.

"It's not about power or the red beacon on the cars. We want to learn and educate ourselves on crucial issues. Important files don't come to us, and hence on important subjects concerning the ministry, we're either underprepared or know nothing at all," Mr Scindia reportedly said.

Taken aback by the sentiments expressed, the prime minister is learnt to have asked Cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar to prepare a note on the subject. Mr Singh assured the ministers of state that he would discuss the issue threadbare with his Cabinet colleagues.

Ms Lakshmi's and Mr Scindia's sentiments were echoed by their party colleagues RPN Singh (roads and highways), D Purandeswari (HRD) and KH Muniyappa (railways).

"I am a young minister. The Commonwealth Games are being held in our country and I think I could contribute more in making the games successful," said Prateek Patil, MoS for heavy industries and public enterprises.

R P N Singh said this was the first time the junior ministers were meeting the prime minister together. "It is important to get an understanding of what he wants from us," he said.

Most of the ministers who complained of being either under-employed or totally unemployed have their own party colleagues manning the senior positions in their respective ministries.

Why the hell they took eight months to realise this?
Heights of government inefficiency and criminal expenditure of public money.

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