Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Minister Oscar Fernandes: Will road transport babus adjust their schedule?

Oscar Fernandes during the Swearing-in
FOR road transport and highways secretary Vijay Chhiber and other high-ranked officials in New Delhi’s Transport Bhawan, the new boss means new schedule. With Congress veteran Oscar Fernandes now as the cabinet minister of road transport and highways, Chhiber and his men will have a liberty to walk up to the minister’s cabin even at mid-night. Surprised? Those who know Fernandes well will say it convincingly that he won’t…interfere too much with the work of his bureaucrats. But Fernandes loves to work at night. As a minister of statistics and programme implementation during UPA-I, he used to leave Sardar Patel Bhawan, his office, only after mid-night. The same schedule continued even when he moved to Shram Shakti Bhawan as minister of state (independent charge), labour. There were instances when he left for home at 2 in the morning!
The only saving grace for bureaucrats in Transport Bhawan, however, will be that Fernandes does not call his babus for a meeting at night though he happily invites his guests, mainly senior Congress leaders from states, at 11 pm or even at mid-night. The Congress activists who desperately want to meet their leader, known for his proximity to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, will hang around near his office at mid-night to meet him just for a minute of two.
Fernandes was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1980 from Karnataka’s Udupi constituency. His ability as an event organizer was first spotted by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi under whom Fernandes witnessed a meteoric rise within the party. Later, he became a trusted soldier of Sonia Gandhi as well.
Even as road minister, Fernandes is likely to spend a considerable amount of time for his party work. As a minister, his mind will be with the government. After all, the fast-tracking of road projects is turning into a big challenge for the government. Yet, his heart will still remain with the party.
Here is a footnote. Fernandes occasionally performs Kuchipudi at select cultural events.


  1. The footnote is an interesting piece of information

  2. Mr Fernandez plays mouth organ very well....he sings Christmas carols awesome...