The timidity of the Ultimate Playsafe Alliance

In November 2007, the US embassy in Delhi sent a cable to Washington, which was revealed later by Wikileaks. It said, among other things, “Mrs (Sonia) Gandhi never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Proof in the new year comes in the form of the reshuffle of the Manmohan Singh team.


# Manini Chatterjee in The Telegraph:  “The much-awaited cabinet shuffle turned out to be an uninspired and uninspiring exercise that has only served to reinforce — rather than end — the sense of confusion and drift gripping the Manmohan Singh-Sonia Gandhi-led UPA in their second term in power.”

# Editorial in The Indian Express: “Reshuffling a pack fools nobody…. The UPA might think that good optics are enough. They are not. And the truth is that a mere reshuft fle is not even good enough optics. The crisis the UPA faces requires not just reshuffling, but discards.”

# Editorial in The Times of India:  “UPA-II has been buffeted by corruption scandals and spiralling food inflation. And it’s been under sustained attack from an opposition that’s smelt blood. A cabinet rejig was just what it needed to signal changed course and renewed combativeness. Manmohan Singh required it especially, not just as a reminder of his authority as prime minister but because the buck for governance shortfall stops at his door. As things turned out, the reshuffle was a damp squib, signifying no real change to the status quo. Barring some exceptions, it focussed neither on projecting result-oriented ministers nor the youth factor.”

# Editorial in The Economic Times: “The lack of ambition in the reshuffle is borne out by the failure to drop anyone from the Council of ministers. All that we see is some wagging of the prime ministerial finger here, a mild rap on the knuckle there and a more liberal use of that mortification called making someone stand in a corner.”

# Editorial in DNA: “It can be argued that cabinet reshuffle is not meant to send out political signals about which way the ideological wind is blowing and that it is just a reassigning of work. That is not convincing enough.”

# Vinod Sharma in the Hindustan Times: “One had expected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to renovate his ministerial council with fresh talent and out-of-the-box thinking. To that extent, he comes across as having rearranged furniture without completely discarding rickety chairs and faded upholstery. The makeover is partial, even half-hearted with ministers shifted from one portfolio to another.”

Cartoons: courtesy R. Prasad/ Mail Today; E.P. Unny/ The Indian Express

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16 Responses to “The timidity of the Ultimate Playsafe Alliance”

  1. twistleton Says:

    To the UPA:

    Hey you patsies. Show some guts or you’ll be the cause of your own death, not the BJP, not the Third Front, not anybody else. You just missed an Onion Oppurtunity. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have that much to lose.

  2. DailyBread Says:

    >The timidity of the Ultimate Playsafe Alliance

    Wrong title and wrong assumption by Churumuri. On the contrary, UPA is pushing the envelope and trying to see how timid the nation can be. Dont be surprised in the next expansion if you see of Ashok Chavan, Rosaiaha, Dharam Singh, Motilal Vora and Kalmadi in the cabinet.

  3. boring journalist Says:

    All the talk of the skillful leadership of Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Mr Manmohan Singh, is nothing but a media hype. It is the media which created a myth. Kf the media has misread here surely the fault is not hers. The breast beaign by the media at this juncture sounds amusing.

  4. Mysore Peshva Says:

    Not just timidity but a grossly criminal timidity. This prime minister has much to answer for.

  5. the colonel Says:

    papu cant dance saala

  6. Murthy Says:

    The way I see it we only have two options:

    1. Military revolution, coup d’etat and military dictatorship rule for 15 years. High level corruption rewarded by China-style execution to put the fear of death into these babus. This is the *ONLY* way to see long-term projects to completion.

    2. Secession – three or four separate autonomous regions without central governance. The southern region (TN, Kerala, AP and Karnataka), the western industrialised region (Maharashtra, Gujarat), northwest (Punjab, HP, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi), central-eastern (UP, MP, Orissa, WB etc), eastern (Arunachal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, etc) who anyway don’t consider themselves part of India even today.
    Secession will lead to smaller and more easily manageable governments and public sectors. Financial waste can be drastically cut down. There can be more accountability. Distributed governance can ensure no one community or state is in power over others. National scale projects could become regional projects (example: power generation, roads, railways, water) and are much easier to manage. States get much greater autonomy.

    There may be problems with the second solution. If one family is able to consolidate power (ex: Karunanidhi’s clan or Deve Gowda’s mafia) they could rule the province like dictators for life and exploit people even worse than they are doing now.

    These ideas will not amount to anything, nor am I really championing secession or coups, but these are interesting thought experiments.

  7. Kelu Janamejaya Says:

    During the election campaign of 2009, when Sri Advani talked about black money, the whole gamut of CONgie supporters, including the media, cast aspersions on his intent and dubbed it as a political gimmick.

    Cut to 2011, Sri Advani has been proved right about his contention of huge amount of black money in the Swiss accounts!!! Today we have a situation where the Government has data about the black money holdings but is reluctant to come out with the names of the account holders. Is it very difficult to guess the reasons???

    During the election campaign of 2009, Sri Advani stated the obvious when he said we have a nikamma PM. He was ridiculed for this statement when BJP lost elections and Churumuri also published a photo which showed Advani greeting PM with some caption.

    Cut to 2010/11. We have ample evidence that this man indeed is the weakest prime minister we have had in our country.

    When Raja openly looted the country with this adhoc telecom policies, he satisfied himself merely by writing letters.

    When Kalmadi was looting this country in the CWG organisation racket and was bringing bad name to the country, he merely looked on without taking any concrete step to control him. Even today, as we are reading this post, nothing has been done to him and his cronies. And our Foreign Minister, when he goes to Australia, has to face the embarassing situation when Aussie government reminds him of unpaid dues to the companies which had undertaken work for CWG. No action from CBI, no action from ED, zilch from police. Worse, even the CONgress has not asked him to resgin him as a member of parliament. He was removed from some under secretaryship of some party post and CONgies supporters tom tom this as a great achievement of the party!!!

    Three of his aides have been let off by the courts because CBI has even failed to present a chargesheet against them. If this isn’t pathetic, then what is???

    When the prices of the essential items have skyrocketed and when asked his view on when things would ease out for the common people, our ECONOIST PM replied that he was not an astrologer to predict when the prices will come down. Hell, if we needed an astrologer to tell us about this, we would have made an astorloger as the PM.

    And now comes the drama of cabinet reshuffle.

    He is claimed to have told that he wanted Montek Singh as his finance minister but his hands are tied, This is what Rajdeep Sardesai said in his analysis on the day of reshuffle. Since CONgress has not officially rebutted this claim, it will stand for now.

    So we have a PM who cannot sack ministers. We have a PM who cannot be tough with his ministers. And we have a PM who cannot even get the people he wants as his ministers.

    Infact some of the inductions into the ministry like Beni Prasad are at the clear instance of Nun’s son who has his eyes on UP elections. One more fiasco like Bihar and even this imbecile knows that he will not be taken seriously. So going all out to ensure a repeat doesnt occur.

    Who is controlling him? Isn’t it obvious that Nun and her son are the defacto rulers of this country. When they can have do virtually what they want to do without holding any constitutional position, why will they let go of such a cosy arrangement??

    And in the process, who cares if we have a weak PM?

  8. Simple Says:


    Advani did nothing in his six years to bring back black money. The moment he sits in opposition he sings a different tune.

    Strange how Kelu doesn’t see through this blatant opportunistic politics of the man who didn’t think twice of abandoning Ram Temple agenda to sit comfortably as the Home Minister. So much for principled politics.

    This party is master in doublespeak, opportunism and obfuscation. He speaks about black money conveniently forgetting whats happening in his backyard – of thousands of crores of land and mining scam.

    The Supreme Court of India has Blasted the Karnataka govt for its ban on illegal mining. A ban cannot go on forever it said, Have the political will to stop it or quit the CM’s chair.

    Congress has been quick on the uptake and asked several of its ministers to resign.

    BJP has sank politics to a new low.

    1. There are 12 arrest warrants against MR. Reddy and he continues to be a minister. It shows the timidity of advani and gadkari in being unable to ask Reddy to resign.

    2. CVC implicates Reddys and Neither advani nor gadkari – not a pipsqueak from them….Is this a sign of strong leadership or tame timidity?

    3. Against BSY there are prima facie evidence of serious wrong doing. yet neither advani nor gadkari have the courage to ask him to resign.

    4. Nitish kumar insulted BJP a million times. None of the BJP top brass even so much as whimpered. They just meekly tailed Nitish, knowing that their future lies in his hands.

    This is what timidity is all about. Timidity of the Parivar. The Sang Parivar.

    A saint is not manipulative. hence she comes across as timid.

    Between a saint with a good heart and a weak leadership or a devil with manipulative powers

  9. Vinay Says:

    I must confess that I am very surprised by the way UPA-2 has been performing. After such a landslide victory, it was generally assumed that we’d see a sizzling performance, what with the leftards out, and with Didi being the only possible troublemaker. What has turned out is a very unpleasant surprise indeed!

  10. Mysore Peshva Says:

    Well said, Kelu.

  11. Kelu Janamejaya Says:

    This is what India Today had to say on the issue of black money :

    The Opposition BJP had earlier raised the issue of black money abroad in the run-up to the 2009 General Election. At that time, the issue did not capture the popular imagination and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s image of honesty and integrity saw the UPA through. Two years later, the prime minister’s credibility is battered by a string of scams.

    When Sri Advani was the Home Minister:

    1. There was no Wikileaks which put up data on its website;
    2. The German government had not obtained the list of account holders by paying a bribe and there was no way they could have given these names to India.
    3. Even US, the most powerful country (?) in post cold war world had to wait till about 2008 or 2009 to get the data of tax evaders from UBS, that too only after threatening the bank with dire COMMERCIAL consequences it got the data.
    4. No swiss banker could think of actually stealing the data and leaking it to the outside world.
    5. And a lot of things have changed since the time he stepped down as home minister.

    Today we have a situation where the Government of the day ACTUALLY has the names of the indivduals who have stashed their ill gotten wealty abroad. We have a situation where Swiss authorities are telling governments across the world that if they can come with a legal authority, they will be more than willing to share the data. A few years back this was unthinkable, certainly not during the time Advani was home minister.

    And the bogus claim the PM is making that the double taxation avoidance agreement we have entered into with several countries is making the govt helpless in disclosing the names is pure & unadulterated bunkum. For starters, this data from Germany has not been obtained under the DTAA. Also, if it can be proved that this was a case of money laundering and not tax evasion, DTAA is not applicable. Moreover, once the data is handed over to the govt, Germany or any other country is not bothered about how that data is used as long as it is not used by the government to blackmail the individuals/corporates involved. Here no such blackmailing is done.

    People of this country deserve to know who are the people who have cheated this country.

  12. Simple Says:


    The whole world has known since several decades that swiss banks are havens for illegal wealth. If there was political will, NDA could have brought the culprits to book, but no, they decide to raise the tempo when in opposition, so it is easy to fool internet pseudo thinkers like Kelu and get his vote.
    ha. did it need a wikileaks exposure to know that illegal wealth has been stashed in Swiss bank?

    1. In the Swiss black money, Advani sat quietly knowing well that he could do nothing. Typical of BJP to do one thing in opposition

    2. In the bofors case, NDA could not drum up even one shred of evidence against Congress, they knew there was nothing. But when in opposition, their tune changes.

    3. When they sat for six years in power they did nothing to ensure peace in Jand K. They allowed the continuance of the special status that Kashmir has had for years. And now, they want to hoist a flag to get votes Kashmir is not like the rest of the country. BJP itself acknowledges it.. Remember vajpayee’s famous dialouge ” Insaniyat ke naate”? remember how NDA mollycoddled Musharaff at Taj mahal”? So when in opposition raise the pitch, increase decibel level, and try and emotionally raise the nation’s collective emotional temper – that is BJP’s strategy.

    4.Nuclear deal is good if BJP is in power. Nuclear deal is bad if Congress is in power – that is their immature outlook.

    5. Raja should resign. kalmadi should resign. Ashok Chavan should resign. But not Reddy brothers. But not BSY – So when they are in opposition, Congress leaders have to resign. But when BJP is in power, they give two hoots about resigning. This is the typical double face of BJP

    Gadkari has openly accepted that his party is immoral, so why is kelu supporting an immoral party?

    Also, Kelu

    I see you have run away from the points that I raised in my earlier posting. No answer as usual.

  13. Goldstar Says:


    Back in 1991, a swiss magazine ‘Schweizer Illustrierte’ had named (yes, named… not alluded) to Rajiv Gandhi having a swiss bank account. There was an accompanying photo also.

    If this was done to an honest person, the person (or his family, cronies, hagiographers ) would have sued left and right to get it set right. But there was no whimper from The Family. Wonder why?

  14. K.Balasubrahmanyan Says:

    well said

  15. Simple Says:

    Gold Star

    Not just the swiss magazine, a million publications have accused the Congress in Bofors case.

    The Supreme Court of India exonerated Gandhis.

    And the case rests there.

    You too should stop babbling if you respect my country and the supreme court of India, instead of throwing some obscure report in my face.

  16. arvind Says:

    Simple Anna,

    In 2009 during the General your PM an your party had told that if elected back will bring back black money stashed abroad within 100 days, after election on 30th july 2009 your PM told in parliament the following:

    New Delhi Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that “action has already started” for getting back black money belonging to Indians from Swiss banks.
    His remark came after Prakash Javadekar (BJP) sought to know from the Prime Minister what the UPA government was doing to bring back the money within 100 days.

    Now after 500 days the great PM of yours says it is not possible and there is some legal implications?????

    If your party and your PM is really interested in the welfare of the country and to prove all of us wrong let them atleast bring the BLACK MONEY stashed abroad in the name of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
    enclosing the link for you to read.

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