Home minister versus Sushilkumar Shinde

Somebody needs to remind him he is not just a member of the Congress’ pinch-and-cachinnate brigade, who will get away with whatever he says

akash

Akash Deep Ashok | January 22, 2013



Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, it seems, is yet to come to terms with his present position. A strongman of the Congress’ pinch-and-cachinnate battery, he forgets his new chair hardly allows him that luxury. After his recent gaffes have invited guffaws and sparked criticisms, we hope he learns the bitter truth soon.

In the eye of storm for his unwarranted comment that he had evidence that BJP and RSS had run Hindu terror camps, Shinde is learnt to have told reporters at the Congress’ chintan shivir in Jaipur: “Reports have come during investigation that BJP and RSS conduct terror training camps to spread terrorism… Bombs were planted in Samjhauta express, Mecca Masjid and also a blast was carried out in Malegaon.”

When the BJP attacked Shinde and demanded an apology from Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Shinde later told reporters that he had referred to “saffron terrorism,” which was nothing new and appeared in newspapers several times in the past.

But this was not all. Shinde’s casual remark assumed international significance when Mumbai attacks mastermind and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed on Monday sought to exploit Shinde's jibe against RSS and BJP saying Indian "propaganda" against Pakistani organisations of spreading terror now stood "exposed". Saeed, for whom the US has announced a $10 million bounty, told a press conference in Lahore that India always resorted to propaganda against Pakistani organizations but it now stood "exposed".

He claimed: "India tried to involve us in the Mumbai attacks but after a passage of five years, nothing has been established against us in the courts". Saeed, who now heads JuD, also made a ridiculous demand asking the Pakistan government to take steps to get India declared "a terrorist state" by the UN Security Council.

While it will take Shinde some time to understand the scope and importance of his chair, let’s take a look at some of his quotable quotes which he made recently. 

It seems Sushilkumar Shinde is the man the home ministry chair had been waiting for years. Acting in a style more suited to a spy agency chief, Shinde has been in the habit of dropping nuggets of information that only he and he alone is in the possession of. On an earlier occasion (late last year), he said while speaking at the Interpol conference in Rome that he had credible information of terror groups investing in stock markets. After playing hoopla-cum-I-spy with reporters over which terror groups and which stock markets for days, it came out that Indian intelligence agencies had investigated and ruled out this possibility a couple of years ago. But somehow the idea dead in the investigating agencies’ files kept ticking like a bomb in Shinde’s mind until it chose to explode right in the middle of his speech at the Rome conference of the Interpol.

Then soon after Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab’s hanging at the Yerawada jail of Pune when mediapersons ran helter-skelter begging for a quote as to who all knew about the secret hanging, Shinde appeared on the scene in a deus ex machina. Speaking in a no-nonsense style, Shinde stood larger than life on all TV channels saying that he and only he knew about the plan. “I am a former policeman and this is my style of working,” he is learnt to have said.

Shinde agent number 007 was bigger than everybody.

So this time again, at the Congress chintan shivir, while Sonia Gandhi herself and other senior leaders refrained from naming BJP, Shinde knew it was his chance. The man who is stuck in politics though he seems to have always wanted to head a spy agency could not have a better place and podium to hog it all and soak in its glory.

 

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