1. Most important lesson PM Modi could have learnt from Narasimha Rao is to recognise importance of time: Sanjaya Baru

Most important lesson PM Modi could have learnt from Narasimha Rao is to recognise importance of time: Sanjaya Baru

"I think the most important lesson Modi should learn or could have learnt from Rao, which in my view he did not, was to recognize the importance of time," Sanjaya Baru says.

By: | Updated: October 19, 2016 1:58 PM
Narasimha Rao was a lifelong number two but when he became the Prime Minister in 1991, he decided he will be number one and behave like number one tells Sanjaya Baru Narasimha Rao was a lifelong number two but when he became the Prime Minister in 1991, he decided he will be number one and behave like number one tells Sanjaya Baru

Narasimha Rao was a lifelong number two but when he became the Prime Minister in 1991, he decided he will be number one and behave like number one tells Sanjaya Baru in an interview to Indian Express. He says, “I think Rao was a lifelong number two but when he became the PM, he decided he will be number one and behave like number one. Dr Singh was also lifelong number two. When he became the PM he tried to be like number one but the Congress did not allow that. They wanted Sonia to be number one and my earlier book, The Accidental PM, was about how that arrangement worked in UPA-I but did not work in UPA-II.”

When asked about his new book, Baru says, “My new book is about a PM who has simply not got what he deserved. Look at how Narasimha Rao has been completely forgotten… Everybody thinks that liberalization of the economy was started by Manmohan Singh — of course it is true, he was the finance minister — but people forget who the PM was. And so I thought the time has come to remind this generation that Rao was a great PM. Of course, he was the Telugu bidda but that doesn’t reduce his importance of being Narasimha Rao.”

When asked about his relationship with Manmohan Singh, Baru says, “I have the highest regard for Manmohan Singh. But Rao was the PM and as the PM he is above the finance minister… What I have said in my book is what Dr Singh himself accepts. He has never denied that it was under the leadership of Rao that he was able to do what he has done. It is the Congress that has deliberately given credit only to Singh and refused to give credit to Rao… I am writing to make the point that hello, there was somebody called the PM of India… I give him [Singh] full credit as the number two, which is what he was in 1991.”

“I think the most important lesson Modi should learn or could have learnt from Rao, which in my view he did not, was to recognize the importance of time,” Baru adds. “Rao did most of his policy initiatives within the first year. I think Mr. Modi wasted his first year and now he is trying to cover the ground he lost… Rao was a man who thought he was going to die, he was a heart patient. He was going to take sanyaas, he was going to leave Delhi and go to some temple in the south. Suddenly he becomes PM, he does not know how long his government will last, his was a minority government, and he did not know how long he would live. So every day he made use of.”

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