The Congress went on a jibe overdrive today as news of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet reshuffle slowly unfolded. The satisfaction was evident as several ministers handling a clutch of crucial ministries resigned. Amid reports that the reshuffle has been undertaken after Prime Minster Narendra Modi conducted a detailed performance review of the ministers, senior Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram immediately tweeted about an inherent "lesson".
"There is a lesson for ministers in these resignations. If things go right the credit will go to the PM, if things go wrong the Minister will be the fall guy. That is the price a Minister pays for implicit obedience and unquestioning subservience," Mr Chidambaram tweeted.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's health minister who retained his position even in the second term of his government, was among the first to step down today along with his deputy Ashwani Chaube.
Mr Chidambaram lost no time in commenting that it was a "confession" about his handling of the Covid pandemic.
"National Disaster Management Authority is responsible for criminal mismanagement of COVID19. It is headed by the Prime Minister. Will PM take responsibility for his failures? Or will PM only make Dr. Harshvardhan the scapegoat for PM's failures?" tweeted senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala.
Another former Union minister of the Congress, Jairam Ramesh, tweeted, "Poor Dr. Harsh Vardhan, a good man has been made a scapegoat for monumental failures at the highest level — nowhere else".
As the evening progressed, Ravi Shankar Prasad who was in charge of Electronics, IT and law ministries, Prakash Javadekar, who handled the crucial Information & Broadcasting ministry, and Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' also stepped down.
"If the Union Education Minister and his MoS are asked to resign, what does it say about the New Education Policy that was unveiled with great fanfare? The NEP has been criticised by States, political parties, educationists, teachers, academics and scholars," Mr Chidambaram, tweeted.
It was time, he added, that the National Education Policy also be shown the door.
Besides the three, others who had to exit the government ahead of today's reshuffle included DV Sadananda Gowda, Thawarchand Gehlot who was named Governor, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Babul Supriyo, Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao, Rattan Lal Kataria and Pratap Chandra Sarangi.
Thirty-six new ministers are taking oath today, which will bring the total of PM Modi's council of ministers to 77.