2 days ago
THE list of those who have quit the Union Council of Ministers is one of heavyweights — starting with the first finance minister
R K Shanmukham Chetty (1949), Syama Prasad Mookerjee (1950), B R Ambedkar (1951), Lal Bahadur Shashtri (1956), V Krishna Menon (1962), Jagjivan Ram (1977), V P Singh (1987), George Fernandes (1979 and 2001), Ram Vilas Paswan (2002), K Natwar Singh (2005) and A Raja (2010) among others. Certainly, junior foreign minister M J Akbar’s resignation Wednesday may seem a small step but it could be a big milestone in India’s evolving politics. Behind the earlier resignations, the key reasons were: Opposition allegations of corruption (Shanmukham Chetty, TT Krishnamachari, K D Malviya, Kalpnath Rai, Fernandes, Natwar Singh, A Raja); ideological grounds (K C Neogi, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Ambedkar, John Mathai), political calculations (CD Deshmukh, Jagjivan Ram, VP Singh and Ramvilas Paswan) and even the moral high ground (Lal Bahadur Shashtri, Madhav Rao Scindia).