Lutyens zone works to derail PM Modi’s currency move

Lutyens zone works to derail PM Modi’s currency move

By MADHAV NALAPAT | New Delhi | 13 November, 2016
Narendra Modi, PM Manmohan Singh, Madhav Nalapat, CBI, UPA, Lutyens Zone, Ministry of Human Resources Development
Narendra Modi
The public and economic dislocation caused in the aftermath of the currency-based surgical strike has shown to those officials close to the PM the importance of ensuring administrative reform at an early date.
Associates of Narendra Modi say that from the start of his innings as Prime Minister of India, it was clear from his approach how far he actually was from the characterisation of Modi as vindictive. PM Manmohan Singh sent one of his own Cabinet colleagues to jail and was well on the way to a second meeting the same fate, even while others were made to resign after allegations of gross impropriety. On the contrary, Prime Minister Modi ensured that an official clean chit was given to the then Minister for Coal (Manmohan Singh) during the precise period when numerous allocations were made on the verbal and “unsigned chit” recommendations of key UPA members. No other UPA-era minister has been the subject of even an FIR, much less a CBI prosecution. Indeed, the UPA-chosen director of the CBI, Ranjit Sinha and many other officials were allowed to serve out their terms with dignity and retire with traditional honour. Many key positions within the Modi-led NDA government remain filled by officials who were active in the service of UPA ministers, including some who have been reported as having facilitated illegal transactions, including through the stock, commodity and currency markets. Indeed, several at the top of the present government’s civilian bureaucracy have long had close and open contact with the Lutyens Zone, including with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who has long been the uncrowned empress of this pool of resourceful and influential policymakers.

However, the fact remains that Narendra Modi is an outsider to the Lutyens Zone, and is known for his patriotism, integrity and refusal to act as a facilitator of vested interests nourished over decades by the Lutyens Zone. Hence, from the start of his term, the Lutyens Zone and its component groups have been silently working to undermine the Prime Minister and sabotage or at the least slow down the transformational measures that he has regularly been introducing since the past two years. Along with this, an entire “samizdat” industry has been developed that is designed to discredit the Prime Minister, and this despite his expansive and accepting approach towards those who were all powerful in past administrations. Senior officials in sync with the desire of Modi for transformation of the economy and the governance system warn that the currency measures announced by the Prime Minister on 8 November are being sought to be sabotaged such that public anger will swell to the detriment of the NDA. They are doing this in the context of the reality that the withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes amounting to 85% of the total money supply (as against less than 1% of the money supply in the 1978 measure targeting Rs 1,000 notes) affect practically all the 1. 26 billion people of the country. Should the measure go sour, the BJP as a party will pay a heavy price at the hustings.

The public and economic dislocation caused in the aftermath of the currency-based surgical strike announced by Prime Minister N.D. Modi on 8 November has shown to those officials close to him the importance of ensuring administrative reform at an early date. “Without an efficiently functioning government machinery, the historic plans of Prime Minister Modi will not succeed”, a key official warned, adding that “this needs to be a priority for the coming year, so that from 2018 onwards, people will feel the positive difference” caused by Modi coming to power at the national level.

Modi took office on 26 May 2014 with four key governance objectives: (a) making quality education widely accessible at all levels, including technology and vocations; (b) creating a framework for affordable healthcare that would place stress on prevention through measures such as vaccination and providing disincentives to toxic consumables such as tobacco; (c) ensuring that infrastructure reaches a scale and standard as would ensure that citizens be given a smooth interface to live and to work; and (d) work towards an enabling environment for the Knowledge Era that would place emphasis on high internet speeds and universal availability, as well as such essentials as freedom of speech. Thus far, the record has been less filled with spectacular outcomes than expected when Modi took office, and for this, those in government who are committed to his goals are pointing to the administrative machinery, and in particular its still colonial-minded and ossified higher echelons, where procedures and customs from the British-era past have not only been preserved but expanded upon so as to harass the citizen and deny him the rights and freedoms present in other major democracies.

There has been a continuous campaign designed to portray Narendra Modi as an over-centraliser, whereas his close associates point out that he is known by those working with him as a decentraliser. As an example of the Modi approach to national governance, senior officials point to the Ministry of Human Resources Development. They say that a single agency and its satellite bodies have not and cannot ensure world-class educational standards. In such a context, a suggestion is to recruit global talent to fill some of the posts within major centres of learning, rather than confining the choice to those resident in India. In a similar way, a fresh approach has been suggested towards key posts in the Central government and its agencies. This is to ensure lateral entry of domain knowledge experts and those from the private sector with a proven record of practical achievement to at least 30% of middle and top jobs. “If the ratio is less, the change will be too small to be effective”, a senior official pointed out, adding that “the present system of reserving almost all the highest jobs to those from a single service (the IAS) needs to be replaced so as to ensure that those from all services are given the opportunity to serve in key posts”. Another pointed out that “it makes little sense to have someone with a History and not a Mathematics background as Head of Statistics, or to place a doctor who has joined the IAS in Sports rather than in Health or a Chartered Accountant in Animal Husbandry”. Senior officials committed to the transformational plans of Prime Minister Modi say that in the 21st century, domain expertise is crucial to good decision-making, and “this is conspicuous by its absence within the higher bureaucracy”.

It may be mentioned that the IAS as a service is not First Among Equals but a Superior Service, the way the Imperial Civil Service was in the past. Almost all IAS officers reach the highest pay scales in the bureaucracy or in PSUs during the course of their career, and enjoy a two-year advantage over other services when promotions are being decided. Since the start, they have had the benefit of the same One Rank One Pension scheme that has been so difficult for Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to navigate through the civilian bureaucracy. Although in theory those IAS officers who are incompetent or dishonest are weeded out, in practice this almost never happens. Instead, obviously incompetent or corrupt officers are frequently protected until they retire with pensions intact. “Any closed group without competition or effective accountability cannot deliver results”, an official pointed out, adding that in general, “senior officers abhor change and regard procedures as crucial while outcomes do not matter”.

Those watching with dismay the efforts of the Lutyens Zone to slow down or sabotage key Modi initiatives say that apart from 30% lateral entry from outside officialdom, key posts should be open to all services and not simply to a single group. Among ministries where outside experts are needed, including at the top, such officers in sync with Modi’s goals pointed to Electronics, Telecom, Health, HRD, Defence and Civil Administration. Based on their experience, they say that “more than 40% of officers are deadwood incapable of achieving results” and of the balance 60%, “more than a quarter are corrupt”, some obviously so and yet escaping scrutiny and censure. Many of these officers said that the Administrative Reforms Commission headed by M. Veerappa Moily needed to be retrieved from the dustbin “as several of its conclusions and suggestions are relevant to present needs”. They say that the manner in which the currency initiative of Prime Minister Modi is being implemented, the glitches and procedural lapses in the details of Modi’s bold scheme, show the need to make administrative reform a key priority during the next six months “so that the crucial (to the 2019 polls) 15 months after that can ensure smooth and complete implementation” of Prime Minister Modi’s governance and policy initiatives.

Meanwhile, it is becoming obvious that the present government’s light hand on those at the top of previous administrations who were guilty of past misfeasance on a gargantuan scale needs to get replaced with greater accountability and punishment, if the Lutyens Zone is to be scared off from further acts of sabotage in the remaining period of Prime Minister Modi’s term in office.


There are 35 Comments

Modi's concentration before elections was to undermine fellow contestants to PM ship and having won, his current concentration is to collect a set of close confidents and give a feeling of stability.Voters did not voting for this given the reaction of the voters to this highly unsettling demonitisation of currency.He has little clue how to decouple the strong crooked regime built by crooked congis.He has little clue what practices of the current government he needs to jettison to redirect the country towards progress.There are lots of stupid policies built by the british which continues to this day.It has made India bureaucratic and the administrators highly corrupt.He is blundering along.Since DrSwamy is becoming more vocal in his critisms of the way he is running this administration, he has taken this huge step of demonitisation to show DrSwamy he means business.But then he can easily falter if the fellow crooked administrators do not play ball.Modi's obstinacy will be his downfall and egoism of not collecting and keeping people like DrSwamy will be a disaster for honest people of this country who want a lasting change.

You do not know Narendra Modi Ji. He is a great patriot and does not work 18 hours a day to either placate or compete with Dr Swamy (who is another great patriot).

BL..BLAH..DRIBBL..TRIPLLALL...BL..BL...DR..DR.. HOW MUCH WILL YOU KEEP SAYING THIS. Modi is a full time politician and does not have anyone to take care of. His ego and obstinacy has bought him to the top most post and he wont let go of it easily. Like everytime, he will milk every situation to his advantage. This has been seen right from the days he was an ordinary karyakarta in the BJP office in Delhi. He even sidelined Advani, the man who helped him during Gujarat Riots As far as your views are concerned, they are more of wishful thinking than real hard cold hard practical assessment of the ground realities.

Be warned, the people are waking up. Kindly do not spread misinformation about the great work the govt. is doing. You are one of the Hasbara Agents and the patriotic group of India and security agencies are now watching your every move. Lay off! we the people of India do not need advice from paid hypocrites like you.

Look at this TAKLU... He is another online paid DALLLA of CONGRESS... Now it's time for CHUUTIYAA like this to be Exposed.. Identified and ELIMINATED. People like these are the root cause of the corruption and black money and all other things that will trickle down because of (corruption and black money)

looks like Sonia 'Bar Dancer' who looted (ruined) india so badly along with her prior pms nehru a complete characterless person ruined this country so badly that Modi need to raised these strong steps. Sonia buttering expert guys doing their best to disturb india as much as possible.. morality had step down so much in india because of congress and other so nonsense politican parties... . Congress and other disturbing elements ruling media to disturb this country....... so much unaccounted money flowing in all this nonsense.. and thats why their butter experts guys wring all nonsense articles everywhere Comemts mentioned here clearly shown that times group and all the activities they do is completely against the nation.. This paper TOI and all group papers should be banned. Nonsense ppl (Comments written) by someone by the name of Shiv.. must be illiterate....

Why Modi not allowing Army Personals running the MOD. Why should IAS lobby run the MOD.IAS lobby scuttling all projects of modernization and recoupment of our army last 10 years armed forces are deprived of all weapons and made our military subjugate of Pakistan lobby in India.First arrest all Pakistan supporters in bureaucracy,Media and people.Your surgical strike failed.Your drama nautanki ends and you are failed leader beating your drums

Article reflects my thoughts Just transfer those corrupts in key positions to less important, outside the key cities to remote places & appoint fresh ones who are yet to be corrupt

The bureaucrats have mentality adjusted themselves according to their previous long time Bosses. It will take some time PM Modi to identity sincere and hardworking officers to replace the lethargic ones.

They do not realise the harm they cause to the nation by their inveterate animosity towards Modi. Do they want to bring back dynastic rule that too the rule of an imbecile like Rahul? Of a shoot and scoot dissimulator like Kejriw al? Both of these two have not even a fraction of Modi's innovative acumen or devotion to the natinal cause.

A very bold decision to cure ailing economy. Chaos at banks could have been averted by a simple better administrative decision. People cast their votes. Government has electoral rolls of the last election held. List of one booth could be given to one nearest bank branch. Let people sign on the master roll and get 1000 rs. exchanged per person. Managing electoral roll of one booth was not difficult. Today same people make a queue at 7 in the morning daily as they have nothing else to do. All normal banking activities at a branch have come to a standstill. Open normal channels when your ATM s are fully functional.

Modi is simply not a PM material. It wud be better for India if he goes back to his old career of tea vending in some street corner of a small mofussil town.

There is no doubt about PM Modi' intentions of building a prosperous and strong India. However, being an outsider to Delhi has its own merits and demerits. He needs to flush out the cronies and lutyens wheeler dealers in his cabinet (whom he depends on, don't know why or has no option due unexplainable reasons ) to ensure that his reforms are implemented successfully, that the lutyens gang is hell bent on thwarting. Modi should seriously consider Dr. Swamy for FM if further reforms are to be brought about and implemented successfully. The demonetization is a great reform , but the Finmins poor performance and planning is apparent.

RBI and FM shout at roof tops that there is no shortage of currency, After four days most branches are yet to get new 500 notes. Old denominations are missing. Who is lying ? Mr. PM should investigate and sack the liars.

There is no doubt that few heads , who are responsible in the present dilemma caused by the demonetization move of the Govt of India, should roll. The ruling Party gave the opposition a stick to beat, and opposition Parties are making use of that, for their own reason. The Bureaucrats of the Finance Ministry and Reserve Bank should have anticipated the repercussions of the move without providing sufficient supply of substitute currency notes. Indian economy and market is still in the conventional mode. It is like going for a war without sufficient arms ammunition. Hope PM should carry out a study as to where matter has gone wrong.

The coming 2.5yrs time crucial for ModiGov and the real threat to his 2nd term started now with all corrupt crony syndicate badly burnt by his recent demonitisation decision, and the warning he gave that more actions to follow, sensing shivers in those people. Brokers, wheeler dealers, corrupt soldout Media, officials, compromised politicos all gng against him within and outside BJP in future. Despite all these nefarious power circles gunning for his life, if normal people recognise his policies working on ground viz PMBSY, PMJSY, PMKBY, PMKSY etc then they will vote for him. If middleclass show patience and repose faith in his transparent governance, then we would experience actual transformation of India we wanted by 2024. After cash cleanup, initiate Cleanup Adminiatration

there will be glitches and procedural lapses in this front becoz its the trailblazer nobody thought about it and not even one know how it will happen only the people who initiated it know the modus operandi but it will still succeed becoz it is done with a clean heart and good for the country.the enthusiasm of the crores of ordinary people who happily accept the inconvenience is a proof of it.


It's good for the Indian Nation to have Martyr Bhagat Singhji photo with currency who laid the life for Indian Freedom against Colonyist's

looks like Sonia 'Bar Dancer' who looted (ruined) india so badly along with her prior pms nehru a complete characterless person ruined this country so badly that Modi need to raised these strong steps. Sonia buttering expert guys doing their best to disturb india as much as possible.. morality had step down so much in india because of congress and other so nonsense politican parties... . Congress and other disturbing elements ruling media to disturb this country....... so much unaccounted money flowing in all this nonsense.. and thats why their butter experts guys wring all nonsense articles everywhere Comemts mentioned here clearly shown that times group and all the activities they do is completely against the nation.. This paper TOI and all group papers should be banned. Nonsense ppl (Comments written) by someone by the name of Shiv.. must be illiterate....

One can hardly understand what the writer has to whine about Lutyens trying to derail Modi's programs.Almost all the Lutyens have turned themselves into Modi Bhakts and his cheer leaders.That is more visible in the media be it in print or visual ones.So may of them are people who got patronage and largess from earlier dispensations and turned into turncoats. They are time servers and cowards who will do no harm to Modi, or will not dare to do, unless they get the smell failure

Do we still need to give importance to these lutchaa Lutyens? They are almost half dead. In another 2 years, if everything goes right. They will be vanished. Sycophants, Prosterior cleaners, Boot lickers and those who wants to show their prominence with ruling rascals will be ned as lutyens. Forget them and even if you give them little chance they gain their place.

Modi's demonetization masterpiece lost its glamour purely due to poor, inefficient and in effective implementation, for which the needle of suspicion squarely points at the IAS. Let's face it- there is no group of disciplined, selfless and dynamic administrators in the nation today other than the Defence forces. Had Modi even entrusted a Major/equivalent of the other two forces, with just a pep talk and overall responsibility to ensure that the Banks and ATMs were never left empty for the common man, I dare say the officer would have moved heaven, hell and earth to ensure that the transition took place smoothly. Such is the devotion of the armed forces. The ongoing confusion today across the 1.26 billion Indians, is a clear indication of a cancerous administration - politicians cannot be blamed for this.

We often here of Lutyens zone..Who all are members of Lutyens zone ? This should be exposed.

The entrenched Neta-Babu-Cop-Milard-Presstitute-Crony Kleptocrats are out to destroy the Prime Minister. I predicted this when Narendra Bhai was still campaigning:

Indians can not any more be held back by incompetent and corrupt babus. Modi needs to immediately replace Babus, by lateral entry of knowledgeable, patriotic and competent people. AND throw out babus, terminate their services or use them as gun fodder on the borders.

It is obvious that there is a significant percentage of bureaucrats still owe their allegiance to the old regime because it permitted any one to make money provided it got a share. So they are beholden and hope they can scuttle efforts of the PM and hopefully get the old regime back in the saddle. As the PM and the RM, having been CMs, they felt that they will be able to handle the babus and teach them a thing or two but, they did not bargain for the deviousness of the Delhi variety. The latter have IOUs from old political masters, industrialists, media (for questioning action taken against them) and "liberals", that it will need sterner action against the non-performers. Yes, we need specialists/professionals from outside who can think differently. Having been Army HQ for my last 4 years as a Principal Staff Officer, I feel that as someone has mentioned somewhere else, our method of processing files has to be changed. In 1988 I put up a file to the Secy Def Fin, after speaking to him, regarding creation of a a rolling fund of Rs 1 cr to develop spares for our imported equipment to shorten the delay as per the existing system. After 3 weeks the file was back as a section officer had objected, as it was against the current practice. Surprisingly, everyone above him had initialled without questioning him. I spoke to the Secy again and asked him as to why he had agreed with the Sec Offr. He regretted it and requested me to send the file again. I did and it bounced again. As I was livid I asked him if he was a man or a mouse that he could not over rule a Sec Offr, if he accepts the proposal. He then asked me to send the file directly to him which he cleared it immediately. What I could get done by speaking directly to Mr Seshan or Mr Naresh Chandra, could never have been possible if I had floated a file which was to go up the ladder. I would recommend that all appointees by the previous dispensation should be considered tainted and fresh blood should be inducted. I fail to understand why for instance a retired service officer cannot be appointed as MOS Dept Of Def Prod.

IAS lobby aided by Arun Jaitely making mockery of system and scuttling all plans of Modijee.The scuttling of OROP showed that MODI cant fight with Congress minded babu in his secretariat.The new demonetization policy showed that Govt failed to earn goodwill from people although its intentions are good and well honest to eradicate menace of terror funds and ISI FICN.The banks should have small notes in full with new notes in chest.The withdrawal of HVN could have earned a good reprieve.The govt should have asked banks to withdraw all bank notes of 100/500/1000 before 2015 printed and issued new notes instead.The new notes should have printed with new security features and with new design.FICN of Pakistan and Nepal are in all states and particularly in their border states.Govt should have gradually withdrawn all HVN notes beyond 2015 and replaced with new 2016 notes first and then go for demonetization.Either it can have been devalued with 30% cut on all notes,as a Tax. IAS lobby of Congress mind set destroying MODI fully and a dread when in 2019 SONIA GANDHI returned back triumphantly.She will then show her powers of a fascist lady and destroy India fully make it a colony of Pakistan China.She will sell india on a platter nd Christian lobby will make Hindus 3rd class citizens.Muslim will be 2nd class citizens and Christian are 1st . HOPE MODIJEE will remove AJ from all posts and bring in IIT IIM professionals as administrators instaed of IAS lobby.SCRAP IAS fully and its law acts eb removed.Make the Bureaucrats equal with professionals and crush congress lobby in IAS IPS>

I had predicted Narendra Modi as PM in 2012 and fought with all might to have him installed as PM but soon after seeing all AJ main in all posts of govt lost my nerves.I dread he may destroy fully in 2019 when MODIJEE will go to election with so many burdens and anger of People.No doubt MODIJEE doing great in International arena foreign affairs but his domestic policy is harming his re-election.His policy on OROP is good but mishandled by Defense Ministry Babus and DM MP is suppressed by AJ lobby in MOD.Now all ministers of MODI are working on orders of AJ and MODI allowed them to be ordered by AJ and those who cant obey his orders are either removed or reprimanded by MODI himself.SZI was demoted when she decried orders of AJ.Now Demonetisation is harming more instaed doing good to MODI although his intentiona are clear.When Modi jee planning demonetization 10 months back why not he worked for gradual withdrawal of HVN from market with a guidelines to withdraw all notes from market beyond 2015 and issue new notes of 2016.This would have solved all problems of shortage of small notes in market after demonetization.Now people are suffering for small notes.Tourist travelers are most affected by shortage of small notes.Patients Ordinary public and passengers are suffering most.People in out station areas cant get food as they have HVN but cant exchange or pay.Such a catastrophe will make or mar fortunes of MODI.It may also damage his reputation of being a one man army.In 2019 he may get 400 seats or below 40 seats as per MD Nalpat.Wish him best of Luck but his speech at Goa showed his annoyance and depression in full.

My appreciation for your opinion...R u 100% sure.

Depends on what the real intent of demonatization is. If the real aim is to starve other political parties in the UP and Punjab elections, then the liquidity crunch is by design and will not be eased and the public is collateral damage. The absurdely low levels of withdrawals and lack of high value notes fully suggest that the situation will not be eased , come what may, for political reasons.

Mr Madhav Nalpat. I read only the 1st para and hence would restrict myself to it Given what you said, just why is that a reason to applaud Modi? That simply shows that he is least bothered about identifying and punishing corrupt in high places and in fact is quite comfortable with them.

So called Lutyen's zone is evil but is not as powerful as portrayed here.Consider the secrecy with which demonetization has been planned and executed.Also consider the efficiency with which the system is trying to achieve the exchange of old notes and and issue of new notes.Disruption is because all of us are affected as mentioned by you.This is unprecedented..Otherwise consider the local disruptions which are brought about by earthquakes,floods,tsunamis,famines.... .They are much more severe and administration found much more wanting and callous.That is not the case with marathon banking exercise which is on.What elites of Delhi don't understand is people's ability to queue up! Most of us are used to queues.You are right about shorcomings of an admistration that is corrupt,slothful and incompetent to govern a modernising nation of our size.Replacing Congress cronies with BJP cronies may not help.He has promised least government.BJP should move on that.Eg what is holding up this govt from selling off white elphants like Air India?

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