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   If we vote ourselves another hung parliament... (April 4, 1991)

If we vote ourselves another hung parliament, the best thing to do would be to promptly dissolve it and form a national government made up exclusively of technocrats and humanitarians. I have not given it sufficient thought as to who exactly it should contain, but the following are a few suggestions:

As finance minister, I cannot look beyond Mr. Nani Palkhivala. Here is talent at our doorstep and we go on placing the financial management of the country in the joint hands of Yashwant Sinha and Pranab Mukherjee, who together cannot produce one budget. Mr. Palkhivala would reduce the volume of tax on the individual, tap new sources of finance, streamline tac procedures, judiciously open the Indian market to foreign investors, have plan targets that are both ambition and practical.

As minister for industries, I suggest Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani. The entire country would become and profit through his business acument and enterprise. He would certainly be an improvement on Mr. George Fernandes, whose knowledge of industry is limited to raising slogans and abusing the Coca-Cola company. Mr. Ambani, Hopefully, will also have the sense not to allow his sons to interface with his portfolio.

For law, since Mr. Palkhiwala will be busy with finance, I propose Mr. Soli Sorabjee, I would have considered Mr. Ram Jethmalani, but he is a politician now, and this cabinet has no politicians. And between Mahesh and Rani Jethmalani, I would prefer Rani, but the question does not arise.

For atomic energy, science and technology, I think the right choice is Dr. Homi Sethna. He would make a better minister than sherif. And, no, Mr. Nana Chudasama does not have a chance.

Information and broadcasting is a bit of a problem. I can propose several retired journalists (or semiretired, since journalists never retire), from Kuldip Nayar to Khushwant Singh, and Arun Shourie to Prem Shankar Jha. But my final choice is an ad man, somebody like Mr. Alyque Padamsee, since it is Doordarshan that requires to be looked after and not the newspapers, and Mr. Padamsee is the appropriate man for it.

For home minister, I believe Mr. K.F. Rustamji is the proper choice. A police officer of vast experience who is also human, a disiplinarian and a democrat. The iron fist in the velvet glove. And I would get Mr. S.S. Tinaikar out of retirement and send him to Delhi as secretary to the home ministry.

That leaves only the prime minister. And, frankly, I cannot think of a suitable prime minister. That is the tragedy of our country: among politicians we cannot find a man good enough to be the prime minister and among non-politicians we cannot find one good enough.

 
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