Living in Delhi, and close to the corridors of power, this senior journalist was able to see how Sanjay Gandhi was instrumental in effecting key changes of personnel in the government and the public sector. Thus, during the Emergency, “the entire nationalised banking system was mercilessly abused to benefit Sanjay Gandhi’s corrupt friends”. The chairman of the Central Bank, a Mr Taneja, “was worried at the persistent demands of Sanjay Gandhi for more loans”. When he resisted he was sacked, and replaced with a more pliant man. “The Reserve Bank itself was put in charge of a half-drunk, amiable insurance man, K.R. Puri, with no knowledge whatsoever of the banking system but endowed with the virtue of subservience to Sanjay Gandhi.”
A hurdle to this manipulation of the financial system was the capable and experienced finance minister, C. Subramaniam, who represented the best values of the old-style Congress of Gandhi and Nehru. To circumvent Subramaniam, key departments in his ministry — such as banking, income tax and customs — were, wrote ‘Analyst’, “taken out of the control of the Finance Minister and put in charge of a novice, a political adventurer with roots nowhere, having no standing except as a lackey of Sanjay Gandhi. This is Pranab Kumar Mukherji [sic], who is today known in his home state of West Bengal, [and] in the business and financial circles all over India, as a servile waiter of Sanjay Gandhi”.-wrote Ramachandra Guha in the Telegraph
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After all,Pranab Mukherjee was trained under the most wily politician that the country ever produced — Indira Gandhi. He was part of her Emergency time Gang of Four. He lived down that infamy by losing the favour of the family. Apart from his role during Emergency, he has had a deeper than normal association with the Ambanis. He would, however, claim that he was not more close to them than either Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi. He was, and is perhaps, no saint. But certainly he is no subaltern of Sonia Gandhi. The media says Sonia has outsmarted the opposition. It is Pranab Mukherjee who has outsmarted Sonia Gandhi!– wrote S.Gurumurthy in the Indian Express