Noted TV personality Karan Thapar grills former civil aviation minister Mr. Praful Patel in this interview on CNBC-TV18.
Mr. Praful Patel is known to be a smooth operator. One might even call him the “Teflon Minister”. It is interesting to see Mr. Patel squirming, trying not to answer directly and trying to divert the what he wants to say, and certain actions which point a needle of suspicion at the functioning of the ministry under his leadership.
Mr. Thapar is known to be a skilled interviewer, and did raise a direct question — one on the minds of many Indians. “Why did your government (UPA-1) not shut down or privatise Air India instead of creating this massive boondoggle?”
As expected no clear answer from the former minister.
I was surprised that Mr. Thapar was not his usual aggressive self, instead, letting the former minister go hammer and tongs at the Comptoller and Auditor General in an effort to deflect criticism.
You can download the complete CAG report here. It is worth the read, especially Chapter V, the part on bi-laterals and the role of the ministry.