There was a leak from the office of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday that Union finance minister Arun Jaitely had called him up and requested him to chair the five-member committee to study the impact of demonetisation and suggest the remedial measures to overcome crisis. The CMO also leaked that Naidu did not evince much interest in the offer.
Inquiries, however, revealed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in fact preferred Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to head the CM’s committee on demonetisation and the name of Chandrababu Naidu did not come up in the discussion at all. However, it was Arun Jaitely who had suggested the name of Chandrababu Naidu, because of late, the latter was expressing his anger at the demonetisation move.
Apparently, Modi wanted to involve the chief ministers belonging to rival parties, rather than those in the NDA. That is precisely why he did not consider Naidu’s name.
However, as an afterthought, he picked up Naidu, Naveen Patnaik and Shivraj Singh Chowhan because he feared that the committee might give a negative report demanding rollback of demonetisation, if it is headed by non-NDA chief minister. Hence, Naidu was picked up, say sources.