Slips galore, but Shinde plays fall guy to his babus

New Delhi, Aug. 2 -- From naming the Delhi gang-rape victim in Parliament to using honorifics such as "Mr" and "Shri" for the 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde has been the target of jibes on more than one occasion.

But as he looked back on the completion of his first year in office as the home minister, Shinde said the bureaucracy had been responsible for the embarrassing goof-ups but he had, as a good leader, quietly taken the blame.

"For others too, I suffered. You people (the media) also criticised me. But I took it on my shoulders because I was leading the team," the mild-mannered home minister said in a reference to the slip-ups.

Shinde made it clear that it was not his job to draft the statements that he had read out in Parliament or outside. "I am that person (who takes the blame for his officers)... though it was not my job. But I took it on my shoulders. I think that shows the leadership in the home department," he said.

With new home secretary Anil Goswami by his side, the Union home minister laughed away a question about his uneasy relationship with former home secretary RK Singh. The minister had signalled his displeasure with Singh by appointing Goswami as the home secretary-designate nearly two months before Singh's term was to end.

"One should also practise to forget something. In administration and politics, there are so many mistakes, so many blunders," Shinde added.

'Dissatisfied' with Headley claim veracity

Sushilkumar Shinde on Thursday insisted he wasn't still satisfied with documents on claims that Lashkar operative David Headley had spoken about Ishrat Jahan.

Shinde had promised to check the claims more than a fortnight ago after Digvijay Singh approached him for a clarification.Shinde said he had seen some documents but had called for some more papers. When asked about the action taken against the Delhi police officer who fabricated evidence to arrest Syed Liaquat Shah on his way to J&K to surrender, Shinde said Shah had been granted bail . "If someone is innocent, there are no charges against them, it is not right to arrest such people," he said.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.


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