Ashish Sharma | February 25, 2010
Mamata Banerjee's appropriation of the annual budget of Indian Railways for electoral gains raises a larger question. Should we blame just the railways minister if the budget is skewed in favour of her home state West Bengal? As captain of the team, isn't the prime minister ultimately responsible for the railways minister's performance as well?
According to a report in The Indian Express, the railways ministry completely ignored the Prime Minister's Office's advice on fiscal prudence while formulating the budget.
That, however, is not the only such example. Mint newspaper reported that Commonwealth Games organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi recently fired Sanjeev Mittal, a financial expert appointed by the prime minister. The reason, as per the report, was that Mittal, an Indian Defence Accounts Service official, had refused to clear certain financial transactions that he believed were irregular.
The question, therefore, arises: is the authority of the prime minister being eroded?
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