At a press conference held on the sidelines of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival on Sunday, two-time Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor indicated that there may be changes in the Congress party office bearers soon. “Give the new President Rahul Gandhi some time to review the situation and make the changes he wants to make. There will be a reshuffling of the deck as it were,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi took over as the Congress president last month (December 16, 2017) his mother Sonia, two days before the results to state elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh were announced. While the Congress lost both states, their performance in Gujarat, a state which had not voted for the party in 22 years, was better than many had expected.
Tharoor says the Congress President is far being a “reluctant politician”, adding “He’s far from it. I don’t think anyone would have put up with the gruelling schedule he had in Gujarat and everyone saw the results.”
On the recent violent protests, especially on the release of the film ‘Padmaavat’, a penchant question on the media terrace at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Tharoor had this to say: “I’m very concerned as a citizen about the failure of state authorities to maintain law and order. Are some people not motivated to stop certain groups? Are some kinds of misbehaviour more acceptable than others?”
The former minister of state for HRD and External Affairs also shared his Wishlist for what would be the Narendra Modi government’s ‘last budget’ before elections to Parliament are held in 2019. “This is their last budget and it will be a political one. The economy isn’t doing very well. They’ll want to incentivise investments, they’ll have to address agricultural stagnation, make good on their promise to provide employment to youth. These are my expectations, let us see what the government does.”
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget around noon in the Lok Sabha on February 1 (Thursday). The budget session of the Parliament will begin on January 29. The first phase of the Budget session will end on February 9 and then the session will commence after a recess on March 5. The recess is used by the standing committees of parliament to deliberate on the various budgetary proposals and amendments thereto.