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The R K Dhawan Chat

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 7:55 IST)
Hello, everybody. First of all I wish you all a Very Happy New Year. I consider it a privilege to be with you all this evening.

mlgupta (Fri Jan 2 1998 7:42 IST)
Welcome Mr Dhawan! Congratulations for acceptance of Mrs Sonia Gandhi to campaign for Congress in coming elections. It's indeed a new year gift to you and your party.

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 7:58 IST)
M L Gupta: I do not know whether you had the occasion to watch my programmes on various electronic networks. I have been maintaining that Mrs Sonia Gandhi's campaigning for the party will certainly boost our party's electoral prospects. A number of questions have been raised in this regard and my reply has always been that she is an Indian and has every right to contest any election. Her acceptance to campaign for the party is certainly a welcome step.

Delhiwalla (Fri Jan 2 1998 7:57 IST)
Mr Dhawan what kind of prime minister would Sonia Gandhi make? and do you know her future plans?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 7:59 IST)
Delhiwala: Mrs Sonia Gandhi belongs to a family who never lets his/her mind known until and unless the family takes a decision. The family always takes the right decision at the right time.

M L Gupta (Fri Jan 2 1998 7:59 IST)
Hello Mr. Dhawan! How are you today ? Do you expect your party to improve its performance this time compared to last elections ?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:2 IST)
Gupta: The Congress party is certainly bound to come to power. During the last elections also the Congress party got the highest percentage of votes compared to any other party. It is a different matter that the party got less seats but in terms of the percentage and preference of the Indian people the Congress was number one party.

Kesariya (Fri Jan 2 1998 7:59 IST)
Mr Dhawan do you see a way out for the Congress party in the mess it is in now??? What do you attribute the state the Congress party is in?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:3 IST)
Kesariya: The Congress party is not at all in a mess. It is false and mischievous propaganda against the party by certain vested interests. Whenever elections take place such things do happen. The Congress party functions in a democratic manner and no particular individual can be blamed for that.

R Rao (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:1 IST)
How many seats do you give the Congress in Maharashtra from where I hail from?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:7 IST)
R Rao: The people of Maharashtra have realised that the progress of the state so far as development is considered have come to a grinding halt ever since they have supported certain communal elements and this time they are going to correct the mistake committed by them especially by the minorities and the Congress party is bound to win maximum number of seats. It is very difficult to predict the actual number of seats. The minorities, the downtrodden, the dalits, scheduled castes and tribes have all realised that their lives during the Congress regime were far better as compared to the rule of the parties they voted to power during the last elections.

Italian (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:3 IST)
Mr Dhawan, I feel proud that one of my countrypersons is rescuing you. Will she become the next PM? Looks like you guys still need us Europeans to run your affairs!

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:9 IST)
Italian: Well, everybody is proud of the people belonging to one's country. So there is nothing surprising your being proud of. As regards Europeans controlling/ruling our country, the people of India had shown that they had thrown out the British empire of the country that led to the Independence of various other countries. Perhaps you are ignorant that Mrs Sonia Gandhi is now an Indian citizen.

venkat (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:6 IST)
What are the chances of PVN coming back as the PM of India and leading the country through another step in liberalisation. It looks he is the only person capable of leading India to a complete economic modernisation

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:10 IST)
Venkat: The Congress party leaves the choice of its leader to its members who get elected to Parliament. And they are the best judges to decide.

R Rao (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:9 IST)
Thank you for your eloquent response though I am not convinced. Will Madam contest from Amethi?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:12 IST)
R Rao: When I am here to answer certain questions, it is not for me to decide whether you get convinced or not. My job is to let you know the correct answers. Every person has his or her way of looking at things and forming their opinions. If Mrs Sonia Gandhi decides to contest from Amethi, you will come to know about it.

G K Kaul (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:12 IST)
Rajinder: Do you foresee a hung Parliament again? If the BJP has 220 seats, do you think the Congress and UF will break up to support it to form a government?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:15 IST)
G K Kaul: I am sure the Congress will form the government. So far supporting the BJP is concerned the Congress is the only party in the country which has never supported the BJP whereas almost all the Opposition parties including the Communists have come to the rescue of the BJP or joined hands with them in the government. And what will they decide will depend upon their mental frame of mind. If they want to keep the unity and integrity of the country intact, I am sure they will not support communal parties.

A B Khan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:14 IST)
Why were you kept out of the Tamil Nadu discussions? Did Kesri not trust you? Why did he send V B Reddy? I believe the woman in the cape told Reddy (when he told her that the Congress would give her 50 % of the seats in Tamil Nadu as against the 66% of the past alliance) that she was willing to give the Congress two seats. The party deserved only one, she said, but in view of its earlier stature she was willing to give it two. Is this not shameful? Who is responsible for the mess in Tamil Nadu?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:20 IST)
A B Khan: Perhaps, you totally ignorant of the discussions that have been going on in this regard and the Congress Working Committee authorising the Congress president to depute any member of the CWC to talk to AIADMK leadership. I am general secretary in charge of the Congress in Tamil Nadu and my holding discussions may perhaps have not been liked by certain Congressmen and Mr Reddy being the former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh was in touch with her and I do not see any wrong in holding the discussions. Nor does it reflect any kind of mistrust in me. As regard the opinion of the lady concerned about the seats, I think she has been goaded to say so and I do not see any reason for the Congress to be concerned about her views.

G K Kaul (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:20 IST)
Rajinder: Thank you. Do you remember me? G K Kaul from Alabama? Anyway... Lalji says the Congress signed its death warrant in May 1996 when it became party to the Marxists's anti-BJPism. He feels the Congress should have let the BJP rule. The BJP could not have not lasted long in power, which would have helped the Congress to project the stability card. Instead... Do you agree? Was there a debate in the party then about this?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:23 IST)
G K Kaul: Thank you very much for renewing our old ties. I am surprised about your views of our giving support to anti-BJPism or Communists. The Congress party believes only in one ism and that is to maintain the unity and integrity of the country and not allow the country to be divided on caste, creed or religion. We had said that we will support any party who will not allow the communal forces to grow because that is not at all in the larger interest of the country. The Congress party does not function on the considerations which you seem to have in mind.

anwar (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:20 IST)
Dhawanji, as a long-time Congressman, what do you feel about the current state of affairs in the Congress Party in your heart of hearts? Be honest.

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:25 IST)
Anwar: My fault is that I have to pay a heavy price always because I am clear in my heart and I say what is right and what is wrong without bothering about the repercussions. The present state of affairs is not at all as is being visualised by you. Elections have been announced and I am sure the results achieved by the Congress party will give a correct answer to your question.

S K Bhatnagar (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:21 IST)
Please let us know how Soniaji was finally convinced that she should enter the fray.

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:27 IST)
Bhatnagar: Perhaps you have not read the statement issued from her office in which she clearly said that the Congressmen throughout the country had been pleading her to campaign for the party and the CWC meeting had also endorsed this view and she had decided to accept the offer. She did not want to disappoint Congressmen.

Majboor Majdooor (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:27 IST)
Mr Dhawan what is the agenda to fight the election this time for the Congress? or you just gonna say you will fight the communal forces and that is about it?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:28 IST)
Majboor: Our agenda will be clear when our party's manifesto is released very soon. Fighting the communal forces is one of the agenda.

venkat (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:27 IST)
Mr. Dhawan, the best option for avoiding yet another hung Parliament ... and then elections ...and then another hung Parliament ... is presidential form of govt like in USA... I think Rajiv Gandhi was also very much in its favour... does the Congress party support this if people of India want it...

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:30 IST)
Venkat: Well, the present form of government is enshrined in our Constitution and no party has fought the elections on the issue raised by you.

A B Khan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:24 IST)
Thank you, Dhawanji. Do you believe JJ just led you along when she was all the time willing to form an alliance with the BJP. After all, the AIADMK was the only party which backed the BJP during the famous NIC meeting in December 1992.

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:31 IST)
A B Khan: I think you should write to her and she will be the best person to answer this question.

M L Gupta (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:30 IST)
Mr Dhawan, will Mrs. Sonia be able to convince Miss Mamata Bannerjee to work for the Congress. I wish that happens to improve your party's situation and save West Bengal.

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:34 IST)
M L Gupta: Mamata Bannerjee has been expelled from the party and where is the question of asking her to campaign for the Congress? Mamata Bannerjee forgot that all the prominence she is claiming is because of the trust reposed in her by the Congress party on her appointment as West Bengal Youth Congress President. If any individual acquires a foothold in any constituency or area by virtue of being associated with a national party and terms it into his or her own charisma, then such a person always comes to grief soon.

Rajan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:29 IST)
Mr. Dhawan what is your opinion regarding the Thakkar commission?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:37 IST)
Rajan: The less said about the Thakkar Commission the better and the Commission got a reply by the investigating agencies who investigated for more than three years the observations by the Commission. In fact the judge heading the Commission should have resigned immediately after that.

Rajan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:27 IST)
Dhawanji what do you say when your name was taken in Thakkar commission

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:38 IST)
Rajan: I do not have to say anything about it. The answer to that was given by the prime minister on the floor of the Lok Sabha.

venkat (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:37 IST)
Rajiv was an visionary... and honest at heart... but was surrounded by vested interests... and in the end got eliminated... why does a still simple and straight forward person like Sonia..wants to go the same way.... or is it destiny at play... as was serialised very nicely by BBC recently... on Nehru..Gandhi Clan..Can you advise Sonia this time at least to take care?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:40 IST)
Venkat: He was not eliminated by the forces you have in mind. He sacrificed his life for the country's unity. And for God's sake do not think in your wildest dreams about the same about Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

gomes (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:40 IST)
Shri Dhawan, I have always wanted to know: what hair dye do you use?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:42 IST)
Gomes: Till today, I have never even thought of using a hair dye and I think one should accept ageing gracefully. And in any case I am not a lady who are very particular about their hair.

Karl (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:40 IST)
Mr Dhawan: Why should we vote for the Congress?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:44 IST)
Karl: Well, if you want the country should be united, lead to a path of development and progress, if you want the country not to be divided on the basis of caste, creed and religion, if you want the country to look after all sections of society and if you want the country to give fair representation to women, if you want the country to have a say in the world affairs, if you want to have stability in the country, you should vote for Congress.

venkat (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:42 IST)
When is India going to sort out its relationship with Pakistan... for NRIs like me... Indians and Pakis get along very well outside their countries... can at least one Congress govt sort it out once and for all? After all, India is like 'bada bhai' and hence should extend the arm of friendship first .. do u agree ?

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:46 IST)
venkat: The Indian government is always ready for peaceful talks with neighbouring countries. At the same time national interest can not be compromised on any issue. But I agree with you that some sort of settlement should be there because that will be in the larger interests of both the countries.

Mr R K Dhawan (Fri Jan 2 1998 8:48 IST)
Hello everybody, it was my first experience on the Internet and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I am sure I have not bored you by my answers. But I want to assure you that while answering I did not mean disrespect to anyone. Thank You. Hope to met you again.