A week before Shashi Tharoor withdrew from the race for the post of United Nations Secretary General (UNSG), he had been clearly told the US won't support his candidature. The person who conveyed this news to Tharoor was none other than the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Nick Burns.
Senior government sources in New Delhi say Tharoor found Burns' candour heartbreaking, quite understandable considering he had assiduously worked on his election from the time he met and sounded Manmohan Singh about it in NY last year. Such was Tharoor's disappointment that he reacted petulantly, even telling Burns that Washington's decision was bound to have repercussions on Indo-US relations.
Tharoor's immature reaction, sources say, prompted Burns to meet foreign secretary Shyam Saran, already present in America to iron out problems in the Indo-US nuclear deal, and explain the rationale behind the US decision.
Burns told Saran the decision was not a vote against India. It was based on an assessment of leadership qualities...