WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM (1)
WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM

Tributes to a great premier

Kochi: India revived its relationship with Israel over 30 years back after freedom fighter and late premier P V Narasimha took initiatives dumping Congress’ objections to it.
The country is remembering the great leader on his birth anniversary when the ties between the two countries have reached the crescendo.
Born on this day in 1921 in a small village in Andhra Pradesh, Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao worked as a journalist, lawyer, statesman before focusing fully on politics.
He became Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister in 1971 and stood with late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in formation of New Congress party in 1969 by splitting the Indian National Congress which later became the present Congress (I) in 1978.
He served as a minister of Home, Defence and Foreign Affairs in the cabinets Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
It was the destiny which made Rao the premier as he had almost quit politics ahead of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 that had left the party and the country in panic.
His bold decisions like ending licence raj and massive globalisation helped the country to bounce back as an economic power house.
Rao was described as the father of economic reforms by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who was his Finance Minister.
Late President A P J Abdul Kalam described Rao as a “patriotic statesman” and had asked him to get ready for testing nuclear weapons in 1996.
Rao played a significant role in partially opening diplomatic relations with Taiwan. He
crushed insurgency in Punjab and took tough step against terrorism in Kashmir.
He was the first leader outside the Nehru family to rule for five continuous years.
Rao succeeded in his goals of reducing the fiscal deficit, privatisation of the public sector and increasing investment in infrastructure.
The demolition of Babri Mosque in Ayodhya in 1992 was a dark chapter in his life.
Liberhan Commission, set up to probe the demolition, exonerated Narasimha Rao. Thereafter, days of crises started tormenting him.
Stockbroker Harshad Mehta accused him of accepting Rs 1 crore as bribe for favouring Mehta. Rao faced another allegation of offering huge money to Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) to vote for his minority government during the confidence motion in 1993.
In 2000 a special court convicted Rao and his colleague Buta Singh to three years RI in prison for corruption. However, the Delhi High Court overturned the lower court’s decision for lack of credibility of statements of witnesses.
In the Saint Kitts scam he was charged by the CBI but was acquitted by a court due to lack of evidence.
He was also set free in the one lakh dollars Lakhubhai Pathak cheating case in 2003.
Rao was sidelined by his party following allegations against him in the fag end of his government in 1996. He died on December 23, 2004.
Photo Credit: Twitter

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