Wikileaks: Indo-US ties going nowhere; Pranab PM-in-waiting?

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Pranab Mukherjee
New Delhi, Mar 21: There's more in store for politicians having sleepless nights due to the damaging Wikileaks revelations that is not sparing anyone. After hounding the UPA government and then training its guns on the BJP, the cash-for-vote became the new flavour of the season.

But the latest in the cables threw some light on the Indo-US relation as well. Calling the relationship, static and dormant, it said that the bilateral ties are going nowhere. The India-related cables that have been exclusively accessed by the Hindu newspaper reveals the Indo-US ties in a different manner.

The US authorities are apparently not too happy with the UPA's "frustratingly cautious'' approach towards bilateral ties between both countries. They are also believed to be holding India's bureaucracy responsible for this timid approach.

These facts were revealed in cables sent by US Ambassador David Mulford to their government dated Jan 8, 2008. He was quoted as saying that the US officials had much better access to the Vajpayee government and was easier interacting with that govt rather than the present one.

He also added that that the Gandhi's ought to become like the Tata's to ensure the smooth sailing of the relationship. He commented that the Indian bureaucracy is accused of displaying "Brezhnev-era controls'' and "still fighting the Cold War".

US thoughts on some of the country's politicians were also revealed through the cables. A cable dated June 2005, calls Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee "in effect, the deputy prime minister" with aspirations for "the top job." The US seem to be fully aware of the political upper hand he enjoys in the government and didn't fail to opine that his hard-to-understand Bengali accent that reflects even when speaking in English and is difficult for “Americans to understand".

An earlier cable also quoted US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton conducting some background check on Pranab Mukherjee and his views on economic reforms. They also saw Pranab as a potential future prime minister. They also stressed the need for the association to be cultivated.

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