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'The only scholar prime minister of India'

December 24, 2004 00:54 IST

I G Patel, former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, enjoyed a special rapport with former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao. He was the latter's first choice to help his government lift India out of a tight financial situation in 1991. The job finally went to Manmohan Singh. Patel refused to comment on the alleged offer while paying tribute to Rao, who passed away on Thursday December 23.

"Rao was a thoughtful man. He was not an economist but was wise enough to understand its importance. He was sensible enough to realize that India was facing an economic crisis (in 1991) and that something should be done about it.

He deservers full credit for (introducing economic) reforms. He was the only scholar prime minister of India.

When Rajiv Gandhi lost the general elections in 1989, Rao joined the School of Oriental and African Studies library. Only a scholar can do this. It is not common to our politicians.

I met him only a few times. When he was the external affairs minister in Rajiv Gandhi's government, I was heading the London School of Economics. At that time, I had a diplomatic passport.

After I left LSE, Rao asked me to continue holding the diplomatic passport. Being the external affairs minister, he could authorize it. And, he did.

I have enjoyed using a diplomatic passport ever since. Hence, I have a personal reason to admire him.

(I G Patel spoke to Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi)

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Number of User Comments: 5

Sub: Dr. PV Rao

Indeed Dr. PV Narsimha Rao was the best scholar Prime Minister of India till date - even shades better than Jawahar Lal Nehru. While the ...

Posted by VINOD TULI

Sub: the only scholar of india

One of the best prime minister India ever had, his contribution as a prime minister has to be applouded, He was bold enough to introduce ...


Sub: Rao a true scholar

No doubt about the scholarly abilities of this great man. Rao, truly ushered in a path breaking era, both in India's political and economical history. ...

Posted by Kartik Swaminathan

Sub: Thanking PV Narasimhar Rao

Today if India is able to proudly boast of its Foreign Exchange reserves the credit goes to Shri P V Narasimha Rao. Not only did ...

Posted by Sriram Kanakagiri

Sub: as if Manmohan Singh is ''angotha chaap'' ? !!!

Who on earth called PVN Rao as the only scholor ? judt to remind u, Manmohan Singh has a PhD from Oxford !!!

Posted by shamsi


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