Opposition parties on Thursday took a swipe at Kiren Rijiju after he was abruptly shunted out of the law ministry to the relatively lower profile ministry of earth sciences. Some dubbed him a “failed law minister”.
In a sudden development, Rijiju was replaced by Arjun Ram Meghwal. A brief communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said President Droupadi Murmu, as advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has reallocated the portfolios.
Congress MP Manickam Tagore described Rijiju, who was routinely vocal against the collegium system of judicial appointments, as a “failed law minister”. “The failed law minister moves to earth sciences. What he can do? Hope Meghwal acts in a dignified manner as law minister,” Tagore tweeted.
Also read: Kiren Rijiju removed as Law Minister, replaced by Arjun Ram Meghwal
‘Science behind the laws’
Veteran lawyer and Rajya Sabha member Kapil Sibal said it was not easy to understand the science behind the laws. Sibal, a former law minister, said: “Now (he) will try to grapple with the laws of science. Good luck my friend!”
The Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray and Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi dwelt on the possible reasons behind Rijiju’s unexplained shifting. They wondered if a recent Supreme Court judgment on Maharashtra was a cause.
“Is it because of the Maharashtra judgement embarrassment? Or the Modani-SEBI investigation?” Chaturvedi asked. In a unanimous verdict on the political crisis that led to the fall of the Thackeray government in 2022, the apex court held the governor cannot enter the political arena.
Also read: SC to hear plea of lawyers body for action against VP, Rijiju over remarks on judiciary
Thackeray’s colleague Sanjay Raut said the Modi government had taken note of the judiciary’s “resentment” against Rijiju.
He said Rijiju had been the most vocal in the government in criticising the collegium system of appointing Supreme Court and high court judges. His remarks on some retired judges being part of a so-called anti-India gang had evoked strong reactions.
Raut told the media that Rijiju even tried to insult Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and many others. “The entire judicial system was against the minister and the government had to take note. This is a victory of the judicial system.”
Rijiju was named law minister on July 7, 2021, succeeding Ravi Shankar Prasad.
(With agency inputs)