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Aiyer told to take 'Entry Pass' to petroleum ministry

May 24, 2004 18:33 IST

The eight years spent in the opposition showed when Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyer reached Shastri Bhavan to take charge of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Instead of taking the entrance meant for ministers (Gate No 4), the former Indian Foreign Service officer-turned-politician entered through a gate meant for visitors.

Not recognising the new minister, the Central Reserve Police Force personnel directed him to the reception desk and told him to seek an 'Entry Pass'.

"At the reception desk, I introduced myself. Someone recognised me and directed me to Gate No 4," he sportingly told ministry officials and journalists after occupying his chair.

One of his immediate acts was to remove the elevated glass tabletop used by his predecessor Ram Naik, saying, "At least, I am not short-sighted."

Asked about his priorities, he said, "My first priority is to remove you all (journalists) from my room so that I can discuss the oil scenario with the officials."

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