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Shattered dreams: motormouth Swamy won't figure in cabinet reshuffle

Panini Anand | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:49 IST

It seems to be a bad time for you if your name happens to be Swamy (or Swami) and you are a politician. Both Subramanian Swamy and Swami Prasad Maurya are desperate to get more than they currently have, and both are staring failure in the face.

Swami (Maurya) recently left the Bahujan Samaj Party and was trying to cut a deal with the rival Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh. But the SP's first family, the Yadavs, didn't give him the deal he wanted. He then tried to bargain with the BJP, and negotiate with the Congress. He thought that with elections just about six months away, parties would welcome him with arms wide open. They didn't.

But let's concentrate on the much more well-known Swamy, the motormouth whom the ruling dispensation sent to the Rajya Sabha in the previous session of Parliament. Even the Opposition had 'welcomed' the move, quipping that 'there would be more entertainment in the House' and that 'there would be embarrassment for those who have brought him to the House'.

Swamy had a dream

Since he merged his Janata Party with the BJP, and the NDA formed the government at the Centre, Swamy has had a dream - to be a cabinet minister. An economist by training, it's only natural that he's had his eye on the Finance Ministry.

In order to attract the Prime Minister's eye, Swamy attacked the Gandhi family that runs the Congress and raised the Ram Temple issue, among other things. These things obviously pleased the BJP, which rewarded him with Rajya Sabha membership.

But Swamy wasn't satisfied. He knew that after two years in power, and the BJP's historic victory in Assam, a cabinet reshuffle would be impending.

He trained his guns on new targets, like RBI governor Raghuram Rajan and chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian.

This put the government in an embarrassing situation, as Swamy was attacking its own key executives and advisors. The message from Swamy seemed to be clear - if you want me to stop doing this, find a way to keep me busy.

Shooting for the moon - and missing

But the fact is that Swamy made a miscalculation. The desperation to get a cabinet berth made him cross the line. When Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tried to distance Swamy from the party and the government, the latter didn't even spare him.

Swamy even played the RSS card - rumours had it that the RSS was backing him. However, Catch has learnt that this is not true - the RSS stands firm behind Modi. In fact, Swamy's style doesn't match with the RSS style of functioning at all.

Now, with the cabinet reshuffle almost certain to be held next week, Swamy is nowhere in consideration. In his attempt to shoot for the moon, Swamy seems to have fallen hard to the floor.

Edited by Shreyas Sharma

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First published: 25 June 2016, 10:10 IST
Panini Anand @paninianand

Senior Assistant Editor at Catch, Panini is a poet, singer, cook, painter, commentator, traveller and photographer who has worked as reporter, producer and editor for organizations including BBC, Outlook and Rajya Sabha TV. An IIMC-New Delhi alumni who comes from Rae Bareli of UP, Panini is fond of the Ghats of Varanasi, Hindustani classical music, Awadhi biryani, Bob Marley and Pink Floyd, political talks and heritage walks. He has closely observed the mainstream national political parties, the Hindi belt politics along with many mass movements and campaigns in last two decades. He has experimented with many mass mediums: theatre, street plays and slum-based tabloids, wallpapers to online, TV, radio, photography and print.