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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Vindictive Foreign-born in Charge

It's hard to say if she was not foreign-born, she would love the country. After all there are plenty of locals who hate the country. But being foreign-born makes love for the country harder, interest in the country's development minimal, and pursing vindictive politics easier.

Sudheendra Kulkarni, who was in the PMO when Sri Vajpayee was the prime minister, writes about his experience of Sonia Gandhi's vindictiveness.

Once something remarkable happened at an NDC meeting in 2002. Chandrababu Naidu, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh and one of the most active participants in all such forums, suggested that in addition to having formal meetings with fixed agendas, there was a need for a free-wheeling brainstorming get-together outside the Capital to discuss major developmental issues before the nation. Most chief ministers, including those belonging to Congress-ruled states, endorsed this novel idea. S M Krishna, who was then the chief minister of Karnataka, even offered to host the conclave in his state....

Given the informal nature of the proposed conclave, the venue chosen for it was the sprawling and serene Infosys campus in Bangalore. Accordingly, Dr Ghosh and I went there to interact with senior Infosys executives. A separate preparatory meeting was also held with Krishna’s officers in Vidhan Soudha. However, within a few days, the idea of PM’s retreat with CMs came crashing down. Krishna informed Vajpayee that the Congress president disfavoured her party’s CMs attending it. Later, I asked Krishna — he is one of the gentlest politicians that I have known — “What happened?” “You know, Madam....” His incomplete reply said it all.