Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pranab Mukherjee arrested for threatening Rahul

Pranab PoliticsNew Delhi. Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee has been removed from his post and arrested for a conspiracy to kill Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi. Pranabda’s statement on the possibility of Rahul Gandhi becoming Prime Minister has been interpreted as being a threatening one by security experts.

An official statement from the PMO did not say anything more than “Prime Minister will hold additional irresponsibility of the Ministry of External Affairs” apart from the Finance portfolio he had taken over earlier this month from Chidambaram.

However, an official in the Health ministry told this correspondent, on condition of anonymity, that Mukherjee received a ‘midnight knock’ and was taken straight to AIIMS. Anbumani Ramadoss, the health minister, could not be reached for comment.

The verbal calisthenics that Pranabda was carrying with Pakistan in the aftermath of Mumbai mayhem in November was seen as an attempt to avert the Party’s decimation in the coming elections by insiders as well as outsiders. But while his statements against Pakistan won him praise, his statement on Rahul brought his downfall.

Pranabda’s forecast, “The days are not far off when Rahul Gandhi may follow in his father’s footsteps,” had put the new Home Minister P Chidambaram in a fix. Observers read a lot more in the timing of Mukherjee’s statement in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls. These analysts smelt something fishy in the reference to Rajiv Gandhi, whose assassination in 1991 – in the run up to the then Lok Sabha polls – had catapulted P V Narasimha Rao to the top.

Sources confirm that apart from Chidambaram, scores of strategic analysts in New Delhi who aspire to be the next National Security Advisor (NSA) had taken Pranabda’s premonition seriously. In a freewheeling chat with this correspondent, former NSA Brajesh Mishra, a hot contender for the post who had recently ‘regretted’ the advise he tendered in 1998 to Atal Bihari Vajpayee to conduct nuke tests, said, “Mukherji is no less brilliant and manipulative than former PM Rao. He needs to be watched.”

This is the second instance of a senior congressman being cornered after praising Rahulbaba. Another veteran party man Arjun Singh had last year suggested that Rahul should take over the reins from Manmohan Singh. He was severely censured by the matriarch and the noises of sycophants died down.

But some experts also see this development as Manmohan Singh getting stronger within the Congress clan. It is no secret that Pranabda has been sore with the madam for forcing him work under Manmohan Singh. Sources in MEA said that the former RBI Governor used to take orders from him when he was FM. Pranabda had been looking to bring down Manmohan Singh under himself, but failed miserably.

Congress media department chief M Veerappa Moily told reporters “We have to take the PMO’s briefing in the spirit in which it was intended and not go into the motive. We are seriously concerned about the health of the foreign minister who is a true patriot.”

Opposition BJP was too stunned by the suddenness of the development and was not forthcoming with a comment. Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said that BJP has recently decided not to put burn its fingers anymore by reacting to rumors.

(This exclusive scoop has been brought to you by chhuchhundarbaba)


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