The suave Lok Shakti leader's influence will extend far beyond the Commerce Ministry that he has been put in charge of
A long-time Hegde watcher feels that the former Karnataka chief minister has carefully developed a slow unhurried speaking style so he can gauge the listener's response to every word that leaves his lips and make mid-sentence corrections. That canny trait, along with his knowledge about global trade systems, should serve Hegde well when he goes out to negotiate for India at multilateral fora.
But Hegde isn't satisfied with the Commerce portfolio, no matter that just by being Hegde, he will place his ministry firmly in the limelight. He could, in the days to come, move on to a far more important job, to be India's first Minister for Infrastructure. India's infrastructure is perhaps the most crucial bottleneck to its economic growth, and the new government is committed to moving swiftly on this (see Yashwant Sinha interview). One of the first things the Vajpayee government...