news Sunday, June 21, 2015 - 05:30
International Yoga Day is upon us and while several Ministers were seen on social media in various asanas, one man was conspicuous by absence. Union Minister Arun Jaitley is off to the US for a nine-day visit. He will not be missed on Twitter though. Controversy’s favourite child Lalit Modi has changed his display picture on Twitter to this. The picture above has been used by many AAP supporters and it fits one of their leader’s oft-repeated allegations of ‘sab mile huen hai ji’ . And while the BJP’s Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje have been embroiled into #LalitGate, it would seem Modi has decided to cast his net wider this time. Modi has gone on a pointed attack against Jaitley, his tweets telling the story.   2/4 thou the whole country media , courts, CBI, have found #srini #guilty - but @arunjaitley stuck by his oldest friend - and why not after — Lalit Kumar Modi (@LalitKModi) June 21, 2015 4/4 @arunjaitley should voluntarily disclose ALL his phone #records to #media - it will show interesting #pattern of calls made to and got — Lalit Kumar Modi (@LalitKModi) June 21, 2015 Congress and Bjp but at heart congress man @arunjaitley only is my target — Lalit Kumar Modi (@LalitKModi) June 21, 2015   He would seemingly have his reasons too, as a three-member disciplinary committee which included Jaitley in September 2013 reached a unanimous decision to expel Modi from the BCCI.   Tweeting a picture of Jaitley and Chidambaram together, Modi cheekily says “Wonder if it's me being discussed.” After an earlier war of words with the former Finance Minister, Modi seemingly has his sights set on another. His earlier picture titled “conflict of interest” suggested Jaitley’s more than cordial relations with the Gandhi family but it is one of several dissenters that Jaitley has had to deal with recently. Aside from Finance, Jaitley also holds the portfolios for Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting. He is also known to be very media-literate, and his friends across newsrooms are well documented. Modi is not Jailtey's only detractor. Another dissident with an army of Twitter followers came from within his own party. Subramanian Swamy hit out at Jaitley recently for being part of a selection committee that selected the Vigilance Commissioner. Swamy alleges that the new VC TM Bhasin is corrupt and questioned why Jaitley was present at the meeting to select him. Swamy has also hinted that something was amiss in the I&B ministry seeking Attorney General's opinion on security clearance for Sun TV. A distinguished lawyer himself, Jaitley has attracted more heat from those of his ilk. Former BJP member and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani has also fired a flurry of salvos at Jaitley recently. Jethmalani first published an “advertisement” of twelve questions directed at Jaitley in The Indian Express. When we asked him why, he had alleged “mischief” on Jaitley’s part and claimed that the FM had the article taken off the newspaper it was intended for earlier. The twelve questions had much ado about Jaitley’s relationship with Chidambaram and NDTV too. More recently, Jethmalani along with Prashant Bhushan have been irked about the appointment of KV Chowdhary as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC). Both lawyers have written to the PM in that regard and Jethmalani had mentioned Jaitley’s presence at the selection committee, one that he was not happy with. “I have repeatedly warned you that he has no interest whatsoever in identification and punishment of powerful offenders or in repatriation of the proceeds of their crimes,” he wrote of Jaitley. The Caravan Magazine had Jaitley on the cover in its May issue and in a comprehensive piece, titled “Talk of the Town”, the writer devotes much time on Jaitley’s links within the media. He alludes to how the mainstream media has generally shied away from taking on Jaitley. Editor of Outlook Magazine Krishna Prasad tweeted a picture of The Economic Times on the day the Modi government completed a year in power.   "One Year of Jaitley Sarkar"? Nine pictures of finance minister in 20-page main section of 'Economic Times'. Modi: 2. — churumuri (@churumuri) May 15, 2015   Jaitley himself has been troubleshooting for the government whenever the need has arisen. He has been their face before the English media, and following the “Presstitutes” remark by Gen. VK Singh, he was on NDTV before Barkha Dutt, taking questions. The interview was the first time though, that Jaitley’s name took a pounding on Twitter. #ShameOnArunJaitley started to trend as the right-wing was critical of him for having given an interview to Dutt. The man whom no one really questioned has come under the spot-light far too often in the past few months. While one could say the same about Smriti Irani and Sushma Swaraj’s recent brushes with media excesses, it is certainly out of the ordinary for Jaitley.  
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