21 June, 2021

That December Heat

The late Delhi CM on why she took the Nirbhaya blame on the chin

Photograph by Narendra Bisht
That December Heat

Once upon a time, there were rumours that I might get a berth in the Union cabinet. Some senior leaders even indicated the home portfolio, but I dismissed such talk, as I had no official communication to the effect. A long meeting in July 2012 with Mrs Sonia Gandhi had the rumour mills churning.

I was looking for something new, a larger canvas perhaps. At that juncture, I did feel I could have been of greater use at the Centre than as Delhi CM. In fact, the inadequate political management of the crises faced by UPA-2 reminded me of the time when the Rajiv Gandhi government too had not been able to politically manage the fallout of the Bofors crisis.

However, it was the then power minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, who was moved to the home ministry. The fact that his elevation, which was perceived as a reward, came on the heels of a blackout in large parts of India in the second half of 2012, further dented the image of the Congress.  

As the winter of 2012 approached, I was overcome with fatigue and bouts of breathlessness. The doctors confirmed a 90 per...

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