(Mint, April 19, 2016: Some Andhra Pradesh ministers ... have fared poorly in a performance ranking conducted by the state government.)
Avery unreliable source has sent us these alleged remarks on the report cards of the ministers. The ministers’ identities have been protected, to encourage speculation.
Rank 1: Minister X has all the qualities needed for success in his profession. He is a marvellous hypocrite and can lie his way out of any situation without batting an eyelid. He spouts an amazing amount of hot air at the drop of a hat. Best of all, his fund-raising capabilities are legendary, especially the black variety. He is marked out for greatness.
Rank 2: Minister XX’s ability to summon thousands of musclemen with one phone call is delightful. He has, through diligent practice, earned a well-deserved reputation for banging opposition heads. In the process, unfortunately, he has been unable to keep one step ahead of the law. But boys will be boys.
Rank 3: His chief asset is his lack of a backbone. His bending, crawling and boot-licking abilities are awesome. He has never once failed to buy drinks for his bosses. He also has an awe-inspiring ability to evade decisions. He will crawl far.
Rank 4: Minister YY’s remarkable skill in passing the buck and pinning the blame on others needs to be applauded. Has impressive lung power.
Rank 5: She has an extraordinary talent for horse-trading. Her knack of organising defections from opposition parties needs to be commended. Also has great acting skills.
Rank 6: We appreciate Minister Z’s determination to cater to every populist whim. Additionally, he is an amazing disruptor of assembly sessions, so essential when we are not in power.
Rank 15: Minister XXX suffers from a chronic inability to take part in asinine TV debates. But this is offset by his unflinching ability to make tall promises.
Rank 18: She seems to be labouring under the misapprehension her lack of a criminal record is an asset. Her sincerity is another handicap.
Rank 31: Minister YYY cannot, even after all these years in the profession, get rid of the baggage of his ideals. Suffers from a lamentable inability to hog the credit for everything.
Rank third from bottom: Minister ZZ lacks the will to greed. He spends too much time helping people in his constituency. On a positive note, he may have a great future ahead of him in his next life.
Rank second last: His progress has been hampered by a pathological urge to tell the truth. Has he considered medication?
Rank last: Minister XY suffers from a weird belief in inner-party democracy. Argues all the time. We turn cartwheels when he is absent from a meeting. Would love to see him in the opposition party.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
The views expressed are personal