New Delhi: BJP has done it again! There were months of speculation. News channels had even moved reporters outside the Ministry of External Affairs, expecting Sushma Swaraj will be declared as the BJP nominee for Presidential polls. But at the press conference Amit Shah pulled out a blinder.
Halting for a moment before announcing the name, backed with the knowledge that his audience is in for a surprise, yet again, he announced Ram Nath Kovind, Bihar governor as the candidate. There was something in the manner in which he announced the name which gave away a sense of satisfaction in throwing a surprise.
He paused for a few seconds, allowing the anticipation to build and then in a matter of seconds, sent newsrooms across the country to Google. After all it was yet another occasion when before telling the world who the Presidential candidate is, newsrooms had to first find out who Mr Kovind is?
For those aware of the way Narendra Modi and Amit Shah operates, this was hardly a surprise. A veteran journalist who knew the Prime Minister from the time he was the general secretary of BJP, recounts a story which perhaps reveals why such surprises have become a pattern now. He once went to meet Modi after he became the Prime Minister. In a mood to indulge, Modi asked him what could he do for him? The journalist said tell me who would be the new ministers. To this the PM allegedly laughed out loud saying even the ministers would get to know this on the day of the reshuffle.
Here we have a PM and A party chief who relishes on surprises. This is evident in most of their decisions. Whether it is the selection of Yogi Adityanath as UP Chief Minister or Manohar Lal Khattar as the Haryana Chief Minister, the surprise quotient remained a constant. Even a relatively low key Delhi Police Commissioner’s job too went to Amulya Patnaik while the force and media speculated about the possibility of the two high profile IPS officers Dharmender Kumar and Deepak Mishra.
In the bureaucracy too this message is very clear. Speak to any claimant for any departmental top job, first thing they say is “please don’t run my name as a frontrunner” or else I would never get it.
For journalists covering the government a great part of their job is to speculate and find out the key appointments before the formal announcements. For them, THE last three years have been a perpetual drought.
The message from the Centre’s power centre seems to be clear, you speculate and we eliminate.