The Argumentative Indian

The precarious ambition of Kapil Sibal

01 November 2012
THE INDIA TODAY GROUP / GETTY IMAGES
THE INDIA TODAY GROUP / GETTY IMAGES

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ON A PLEASANT WINTER DAY in November 2010, as the afternoon sun shone on the leaves of the Katsagon trees outside Shastri Bhavan, the telephone rang in room 302, C-Wing—the office of Kapil Sibal, the Minister for Human Resource Development. The prime minister’s office was on the line, and Sibal calmly adjourned a meeting to take the call.

After the brief distraction of US President Barack Obama’s four-day visit to India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had decided Sibal would be the man to replace A Raja, the communications minister tainted by the 2G spectrum scam. Sibal’s office wasn’t expecting a call from the prime minister, but he was not surprised: according to one ministry official, TKA Nair, the principal secretary in the PMO, had been a frequent visitor to Sibal’s office in the preceding days. Raja soon submitted his resignation, and the very next day Sibal took over.

Praveen Donthi is the deputy political editor at The Caravan.

Keywords: politics India Praveen Donthi Kapil Sibal lawyer poet ministries
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