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Sushilkumar Shinde, Kapil Sibal among ministers who couldn't make it

Saturday, 17 May 2014 - 7:10am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

That great hope for the BJP in Punjab, Arun Jaitley, the man who was touted to become 'No 2' in the Modi cabinet, and whom his rival, Congress candidate Capt Amarinder Singh, addressed as "that fellow", has fallen to the electoral bullets of the Captain in Amritsar.

In the afternoon on Friday, Jaitley, who stood like a rock behind Narendra Modi all these years and who is in Modi's core-group, tweeted "Congratulations to Capt Amarinder Singh for his victory in Amritsar parliamentary constituency." Jaitley's wife Sangeeta also congratulated Amarinder Singh.

So, the maharaja has reasons to celebrate with a Patiala on the rocks. Except that his wife, minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur in Singh's government, lost Patiala to AAP. Kaur's defeat is part of the bigger story-- the near total decimation of those who called the shots and ruled the roost in the Manmohan Singh cabinet.

People who set the agenda for the country. Laid down policies that affected the lives of 1.2 billion. They were arrogant. They were powerful. They turned a blind eye to misdemeanors. They bent rules to benefit themselves and their own. Many of them have fallen to the ferocity of the voter's retribution. Those among them who opted not to contest --- like P Chidambaram and Manish Tewari --- took the easy way out, and were spared the ignominy of defeat.

There are exceptions. Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath, power minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, food minister K V Thomas, minister of state for labour Kodikunnil Suresh and HRD minister Shashi Tharoor. They managed to beat the winds of change. The party itself has been reduced to double digits, its worst show ever.

Modi-baiting proved costly for some Congress leaders. Salman Khurshid, who called Narendra Modi "impotent", has been hounded out of Farrukhabad. Steel minister Beni Prasad Verma, who likened Modi to "monster", will no longer represent Gonda.

Talking of KO, it was knockouts galore in Rajasthan. union corporate affairs minister Sachin Pilot from Ajmer, minister for youth affairs Jitendra Singh from Alwar and highways & transport minister CP Joshi from Jaipur Rural. None of them could withstand the combined onslaught of Rajasthan CM Vasundraraje Scindia's wiles and Narendra Modi's wave. Rajasthan has been rendered 'Congress-mukt'.

Elsewhere, heavyweights such as Sushilkumar Shinde and Kapil Sibal have been swept out of contention by anti-incumbency. Shinde, with a bad case of foot-in-mouth, was sent 'home' in Solapur. Sibal, who had been gunning for Modi from 2009, was beaten by the law of averages: You can't win Chandni Chowk, thrice!

Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh was the "first result", and the "first casualty". For once, he couldn't read the Jat mind, and mood. For that he was made to pay. His record of repeated wins from Baghpat was arrested by former Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh. To add to woes, his son Jayant Chaudhary came a cropper in Mathura, which fell to the charms of Hema Malini.

Heavy industries minister Praful Patel of the NCP fell far short of the expectations of the electorate of Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra. The NCP's alliance with a "corrupt" Congress came cost the NCP dear.

The electorate was not in a mood to overlook "guilty by association".

Coal minister Shriprakash Jaiswal will be missing from the corridors of power. Jaiswal was trounced by Murli Manohar Joshi in Kanpur. He paid for his alleged dark as coal deeds. Giving him company will be Pawan Kumar Bansal who was booked for his nephew's "money-for-plum-railway-post" scam.




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