airs & heirs
tmc is anand sharma’s bete noire
Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma is probably the most disliked politician in recent times. While his arrogance is well known, this is becoming public with his colleagues in Parliament also taking potshots at him. Even though Parliament has not been functioning, Anand Sharma managed to engineer a major skirmish with Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee on the floor of the Lok Sabha when he provoked the Trinamool MP who hit back with a vengeance. While the Trinamool Congress MPs were protesting like many others over foreign direct investment in retail, Anand Sharma passed a caustic remark saying, “that is the reason why no investment is coming into West Bengal.” An angry Kalyan Banerjee hit back at the Minister, calling him an “agent of the corporates”. The exchange took place on the floor of the Lok Sabha after the house was adjourned. Continuing to hit out at Sharma, Kalyan Banerjee shouted at him saying, “don’t show your red eyes to me. You may be a Minister now but soon when you are no longer a Minister, even a dog will not follow you.” An enraged Anand Sharma asked Banerjee to behave in a civilised manner but it was only when members and other ministers intervened, and tried to pacify the Trinamool MP that matters returned to normal. Anand Sharma is like a red rag to many MPs who find his behaviour offensive. As the Commerce Minister, he is expected to reply to the debate on FDI in retail, but the new worry in the Government is that just his appearance may put off many MPs and leaders, and may lead to a battle-like situation. This may further fray tempers, leading to more charges and counter charges being hurled across the political divide. Like the Prime Minister and other senior Ministers in the Government, Anand Sharma is also an aggressive votary of FDI. This is what annoyed Kalyan Banerjee who decided to make his views on Sharma public on the floor of the Lok Sabha, even though the house had been adjourned.