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   So far, when asked who... (December 7, 1990)

So far, when asked who I though was the most honest politician in the country, it was easy to answer - Mr. Ramakrishan Hegde. Now that that is not the case, who is the host honest? I have considered neveral names:

V.P. Singh: Well, the public still has faith in him. They voted for him because he was honest and not because he was brilliant or able or a member of a respect family. And not only he but also all his family members are also honest, which cannot be said about most of our politicians. When allegations were made against his son, they were thrown out of hand. Not a speck of dirt got stuck on his son. Plus, he must be believing in value and issue-based politics, since he has resigned several times. But then everytime he has returned to a bigger post. Could that he just luck or cunning?

Devi Lal: He is the picture of a simple, gruff, early politician. So are his sons. Not given to the sophisticated ways of the world, easily outmanoeuvered. But if I were to pick him as the most honest politician, people would laugh at me.

George Fernandes: he may be the most honest politician going, and then again the most corrupt. It is difficult to pin him down. I am more familiar with him than with any other politician, having known him since his days as an apprentice trade unionist. But I still know nothing about him.

Rajiv Gandhi: No, Not because of Bofors of HDWP or whatever, all that is still to be proved. But mainly because of the company he keeps.

Arun Nehru: Ha, ha!

L.K. Advani: Money-wise, certainly honest. All BJP-RSS people are like that. But intellectual honesty, I do not know. In any case, the appropriate description for his is sober politician, not honest politician.

Sharad Pawar: Intellectual honesty, yes. Otherwise, I do not know. In any case, till such time as the governor decides on Mr. Antulay's plea to prosecute him, I would like to reserve my opinion. Not that Mr. Antulay is in a position to prosecute anybody.

Jyoti Basu: First, he is a Marxist, second, he has got a son. Not that a politician cannot he honest in spite of a son. Mr. Morarji Desai was the most honest politician in his time, today the does not even have house to live in.

Madhu Dandavate: A man who is above money, above power, disinterested in position and perks of office. I will now shift the title of the mpost honest politician in India from Mr. Hegde to Mr. Dandavate.

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