“It’s an attractive package for the youth of our state, especially those from the rural areas, where they don’t have degrees and qualifications to apply for high-end jobs. The scheme is quite simple actually. We set up Government certified training schools to provide training to the youth in basic apprenticeship skills in lieu of an enrollment fee. This gives us the opportunity to provide employment to a large number of people as trainers for this program, without causing any additional burden on the State exchequer. The training schools will have tie-ups with the big Industrial houses of our State. After the training is complete and certified by us, we guarantee the youth that they will be employed in the Industries of our region. It is a win-win situation for everybody involved. It has some loopholes, but they can be worked on and overcome when we start working on the project.” Shahzeb stated carelessly to Sardar Alam Khan, who was listening to him attentively.
“But if the project doesn’t run as we are expecting it to, then the lower class youth will be extremely outraged. The enrollment amount is too much for them. If we are unable to provide employment to them after they have completed the training, it will not only stain the name of our Government, but will also most definitely affect the party’s reputation in the upcoming elections. And we can’t risk doing that.” Sardar Alam Khan stated his view while looking at his companion Abbas Malik, who had the same queries regarding Shahzeb’s insane idea of providing employment to his non-liberal, illiterate people. He couldn’t understand why this lad liked to play with fire. All his business strategies seemed crazily risky to Sardar Alam Khan; although it was true that he had never faced defeat; and had never incurred losses on any of his business ventures.
“You can’t lead a successful business without taking risks. I know exactly what I’m doing. And believe me, in the end, it will be the Party that will benefit the most from this venture. You will reap tremendous rewards in the upcoming elections. Both you and Abbas Malik have been struggling for seats to gain an absolute majority in the State Assembly. To be a little frank here, no one really likes Mr. Abbas Malik. That is the main reason behind this inapt decision of yours to announce my name for the CMs chair.” Shahzeb emphasized every detail confidently. His sharp gaze was reading his worldly father’s and Abbas Malik’s expressions minutely. He knew where to hit these men; which buttons to press. Fortunately, Sardar Alam Khan had no reason to suspect Shahzeb’s generosity and commitment to the Party’s cause. He firmly believed that Shahzeb was indebted to him because he had given him his name and reputation in the society for his self-esteem. Although Shahzeb was completely aware that this ruthless man wasn’t exactly happy for what he had done, but he had been obliged to do so. This cunning old man was compelled to cover his daughter’s sin.
“Son, don’t try to make it out as if you are doing this out of charity for the people’s sake, and you wouldn’t get anything from this setup. You are fooling nobody here. The party’s goodwill and victory will make you the king of this State. You will be the one who will get everything in the end.” Abbas Malik retorted remorsefully.
“If Abbas Malik had any male heir in his lineage, he would have never agreed on my name.” Shahzeb stated plainly to his father.
“But Alas! You have no son. And everyone knows that your outwardly canny little daughter is actually a hopeless option for such an immense position.” Shahzeb turned his head, placed his palms on the office table, bent his shoulders, and replied with a measured calmness. His cold gaze filled Abbas Malik’s eyes with red hot fury.
“Shahzeb!” His father’s curt voice boomed in the silent atmosphere of his vast office. “Watch your words before spitting them out. I will never allow you to insult my friends and associates. And never forget that Abbas also holds 20% shares in AK Corporates, the company that you are banking on to provide the most employment in this scheme of yours.”
“Well baba, I didn’t mean to be rude to Uncle Abbas or you. I was just figuring out the pros and cons of the scheme; the profit and the risks involved for everyone. I am sure you wouldn’t want to lose in the next elections. Believe me, if the program doesn’t turn out as we are expecting it to, you can make a public announcement and fix the entire blame on me.” His idea seemed handsomely profitable to both the men who were ready to do anything to ensure their party’s victorious comeback. Both of them were totally capable of dumping the happiness of their loved ones in the bin in the greed of ruling this state. Shahzeb was well aware of their hunger for Power.
“Okay, I agree. I will pass the scheme without any delay. Hopefully you will work on it as your own project. Plus, announce it as a government certified scheme approved by state finance ministry. If you manage to pull this off, it would be a great step towards our victory in the upcoming elections.” Abbas Malik spoke in agreement.
Shahzeb’s face lit up with an unknown satisfaction. He wanted them to pass this project without any objections or reservations. This project was definitely going to be his master card to be used to build the next government in the State, or… Or destroying the party forever. He smiled triumphantly.
“No need to worry Uncle Abbas. I will try and cover all the glitches that might cause any trouble in the progression of the program. The paperwork will be completed by the coming Friday, and will be submitted for your approval on the same day. I want it clarified and have your signature on it by Monday. Please don’t delay the allotment.” Shahzeb proposed faintly.