Nando Bodha’s resignation as Minister in the Pravind Jugnauth-led government and from the MSM must have hit the government Prime Minister and leader of the MSM like a bolt of lightning. This would be the more so since the announcement of his resignation came on the same day that the governing alliance had chosen to rally support from the party loyalists to rebut the sustained attacks from the ‘Avengers’ lawyers, and the opposition parties generally, over the series of disturbing happenings that have shocked the public in these last weeks.
The Prime Minister, being the best informed person of the country thanks to the daily briefings of the National Intelligence Unit, would probably have been made aware of Nando Bodha’s intentions and/or frustrations since a few weeks back. That was when word was already going around in restricted political circles about the imminence of his resignation. What was clearly not anticipated was his determination to cross the Rubicon eventually.
Nando Bodha does not belong to the shouting brigade of latter-day young turks of the MSM since Pravind Jugnauth took over from Sir Anerood Jugnauth. He had been one of the longest serving members of the MSM ever since the party was founded, being alongside Sir Anerood down the years. He has participated in and contributed to the major political battles waged by the then party leader and Prime Minister. He might also, like Madun Dulloo earlier, have been frustrated for having been sidelined from the top post in the party, but his personal loyalty and the respect for SAJ kept him in the party. Press comments following his resignation would suggest that his equation with the present leader of the MSM is way different today than it had been with Sir Anerood Jugnauth.
Could it be that Nando Bodha is genuinely concerned about the state of governance in the country under the present government? We have to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept what he says for now, but his few pronouncements by way of explanation for his resignation have confirmed what his earlier government colleagues, including the Reform Party’s leader Roshi Bhadain, had been hammering all along since he had left the MSM: the alleged capture of the government’s decision-making by a small group of loyalists/advisers close to the Prime Minister.
Will Nando Bodha’s resignation open the floodgate for more resignations to come? Unlikely, although word is already going around about a few others that are not comfortable about the company they are presently keeping in the Cabinet, and the leadership’s handling of the numerous dysfunctions in relation to law and order issues that have been laid at its feet by the ‘Avengers’ and the opposition.
Nando Bodha is a seasoned politician, having helped strategize the MSM’s political actions and its communications for several years under Sir Anerood Jugnauth. His personal attributes and political skills are acknowledged within and outside the MSM. It’s not surprising therefore that the MMM leader has already made known his interest in roping in Nando Bodha within the MMM that had been on the look-out for a prime ministerial candidate with the “right profile” to help reverse its electoral and political misfortunes.
It remains to be seen if Nando Bodha would look towards the MMM for his political future. If he does, the ‘‘rapport de forces’’ within the Labour Party-MMM-PMSD ‘‘Entente’’ is likely to change… that is if Nando Bodha, who is well versed in the “political culture” of the MSM, manages to counter any vile and nasty attacks that might be unleashed against him in the weeks ahead.
Either way, the political and legal cauldrons will keep boiling…
* Published in print edition on 9 February 2021