January 30, 2008

The State Team

Following my suggestion for Sachin Tendulkar to be made the President of India, the BCCI installed a sub-committee to assess the feasibility of that suggestion. The sub-committee has found such a proposition possible indeed, and has gone one step ahead to recommended a full re-organisation of the Indian Government.

The Government will be formed by a coalition known as the Undressed People’s Alliance. This alliance will be led by Mr. Sharad Pawar who has promised to unlearn the Marathi language and to pick up Italian by the time the Government is installed. Mr. Pawar will not be taking an active role in the Cabinet and will read his Italian speeches from Roman script. Other partners in this alliance are the Senior Citizens’ Action Party led by the vibrant leader Mr. Raj Singh Dungarpur and the Aishwarya Samaj Party represented by the influential Mr. Amar Singh. The opposition is to be headed by Mr. Subash Chandra who represents the Future Vision Dal.

As intimated earlier, Sachin Tendulkar will be appointed the nominal head of India. His installation will take place this Friday in Melbourne at the Presentation Ceremony for the T20 match between India and Australia. Top leaders of the UPA alliance will fly to Melbourne to attend the ceremony in person. The Chief Justice of India will administer the Oath of Office to Mr. Tendulkar over a web-conference. In keeping with international protocol, Mr. Tendulkar will convert his Cricket tour to a State visit to Australia following his swearing in ceremony. In a show of solidarity, the Australian team have agreed to lose the game.

Upon his return to the sovereign Mr. Tendulkar will then oversee the institution of The Council of Ministers, who will be as follows:

Ø Cabinet Ministers

* Anil Kumble Prime Minister and in-charge of all unallocated portfolios. His management qualities have been highlighted recently, and while some might argue that age is against his appointment to the premier post, a trend of frequently-transplanted politicians in the recent past means he is still a safe bet.

* MS DhoniRailways, Prime Minister’s Office and Panchayati Raj. Mr. Dhoni has age on his side. He will do well to learn from the matters of the PMO. We hope he’ll further the Railways’ profitable ways as his sensibilities are in line with those of his predecessor, Mr. Lalloo Prasad. His rooted-ness and his infectious hair-sense should make him a popular champion of the Panchayati cause.

* Rahul Dravid ­­Defence and Statistics and Programme Implementation. He is a world renowned expert in these areas and will bring solidity to the table.Someone said, "Form is temporary, Class is permanent." Mr. Dravid has been known to have class.

* Sourav Ganguly Human Resource Development and Corporate Affairs. In the past, Mr. Ganguly has shepherded a number of talented up-coming politicians to success and it is hoped he can translate the same magic to the unemployed of this country. Recent encounters with a disgruntled Australian have opened his eyes to the sensitivities of other people. The charge of Corporate Affairs is placed in a bid to remove him from the Chyavanprash adverts resulting from an ensuing conflict of interest.

* VVS Laxman External Affairs. Given his excellent track record in dealing with foreign diplomats and international situations it is fitting that he be nominated to the MEA. In a bid to keep his confidence high, it is also mooted that he fulfills his duties on a 6 month home - 6 month Australia basis. When in Australia he will double up as our Ambassador there.

* Yuvraj Singh Agriculture and Rural Development. The committee recommends demoting Yuvraj to semi-pro politician status. Keeping in line with the style of his blunders lately it is believed he will be best suited to the Agriculture industry. As agriculture happens in rural areas, he could also be entrusted with the Rural Development ministry.

* Zaheer Khan Health and Family Welfare. Having a huge in-depth knowledge of the health facilities in this country makes Mr. Khan indispensable for monitoring the Health of the nation. Lack of any evidence to the contrary convinces us he is a good family man too.

* Irfan Pathan – New and Renewable Energy. He is the only man we have in this sector.

* Harbhajan Singh – Culture and Social Justice and Empowerment. In light of recent international incidents we believe he is the right man at the right time. His understanding of the fabric of our national social being makes him the ideal man to represent the values of our proud culture. He also possesses a keen sense of India’s new-found social conscience and is seen by many as an icon of Sikh empowerment.

* Mohd. Kaif – Home Affairs and Minorities. A proven performer on the internal scene he has ably headed various State ministries for a long time now. It is natural progression that he now assumes higher responsibilities. He will also represent the minority interests in the UPA alliance.

* V Sehwag – Power and Food Processing Industries. Sehwag has some brilliant ideas on rejuvenating the Power sector. In his previous stints he has proven his mettle in difficult conditions and against formidable opposition. He should also be allowed first take on the opposition’s questions in the Parliament. Mr. Sehwag’s mother will take care of the FPI sector in an unofficial capacity.

* Wasim Jaffer – Personnel and Public Grievances and Pensions. Someone’s got to do the job.

* Dinesh Kaarthick – Youth Development and Sports. The only athletic build in the alliance makes him top contender for what is essentially a job of outrunning Messrs Gill and Kalmadi. We bet his boyish looks will fool the IOC into bringing the Olympics to India.

* MM Patel – In-charge of Daman and Diu, and, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. With a frictional personality and mixed results in previous roles of responsibility it is best he is kept at a distance and be reassessed on monthly visits to the Capital.

* Pankaj Singh – Water Resources. For sentimental reasons.

* VRV Singh – Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. A misnomer ministry really, allocating MSMEs to Mr. Singh should allow him to manage the huge sector without pressure of hype and visibility. It is a safe risk for the same reason.

Ø Ministers of State

* Ishant Sharma – State Minister for Youth Development. A just reward for the big strides he has made in a short duration, to rise from being a Delhi Youth Brigade workhorse to the Head of All India Youth Barbers’ Union. A lack of respect towards foreign premiers means he is not ready for the big league just yet.

Ø Others

* RP Singh – Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh. Long-lost nephew of alliance partner Amar Singh, RP came to the limelight (and Amar Singh’s bulging eyes) after stellar performances in the UP primaries. His appointment will achieve two things – a quiet coalition and a reined star.

Finally, in keeping with tradition it is recommended that this sub-committee be elevated to the status of a Full Committee and Mr. Sunil Gavaskar be placed at its helm.

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