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Arrogant ministers and the media

Scribe tells off minister

PIyush Goyal

Arrogance is a common trait among politicians. So it is not surprising that there is a general feeling in power circles that some cabinet ministers think they are god-sent ‘agents of change’. Arrogance reared its head earlier when P Chidambaram was Home Minister and Anand Sharma was the Commerce Minister. In the NDA regime, the list of the arrogant ministers is long but prominent among them are Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Railways Minister Piyush Goel. The atmosphere in both ministries is so suffocating that even senior civil servants are scared to give an appointment and meet journalists. One scribe told gfiles that when Piyush Goel was officiating Finance Minister, Joint Secretaries clearly told journalists that the Secretary had instructed them not to talk to the media. The funny part is whenever any journalists ask the ministers any uncomfortable straight question in press conferences, these ministers reply, ‘behave, otherwise I will speak to your owners/editors’. One Cabinet Minister was reportedly so adamant that the journalist had to apologise in writing. But in another instance, when the minister told a journalist that he would have to speak to his editor/owner about his behaviour, the scribe politely told the minister, ‘sir, I will remain a journalist all my life with this newspaper or another’ and dialled the number of his editor and handed over the phone to the minister. The minister did not know where to look.

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