So, he’s back. Then what was all that fuss about?
There were a number of reports on how Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was particularly keen to keep two ministers from his old team out of the new cabinet—A. Raja and T.R. Baalu—both members of pre-election ally Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
Baalu had to make way for members of the DMK’s own ruling family. But Raja is once again telecom minister, despite having run policy in a way that helped select firms get cheap licences and thus led to lower revenues for the government.
In this very column on 11 November, we had said that Singh should fire Raja. “The telecom policy needs an overhaul and it would be best to start at the top—with the top telecom policymaker.”
The Prime Minister sent out a positive signal when he kept Arjun Singh out of his ministry after the damage the latter inflicted on the education sector.
The inclusion of Raja— despite his record—cancels that positive signal. A new beginning, did you say?