"The contrast is almost like shifting from Test cricket to T-20 within three days," says an officer when asked about the change of guard at the Union environment ministry at Paryavaran Bhawan in New Delhi.
Jayanthi Natarajan resigned on December 21; two days later, Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily was given the additional charge of environment. The charge against Natarajan was that projects worth a staggering Rs 10 lakh crore were stuck because of her.
As a result, disaffection with the United Progressive Alliance was running high. This had drawn the ire of none other than Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi who promised industry speedier environment clearance at a public function in New Delhi.
The Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat's chief minister, Narendra Modi, talked of a "Jayanthi tax" that had derailed the economy.
Text: Shine Jacob and Jyoti Mukul, Business Standard