Monday, 18 April 2005

Book Review: Upendra tells all in "Gatam Swagatam"

Syed Akbar

Synopsis of the Book "Gatam Swagatam" (Welcome Past -- Part - II)
By Parvataneni Upendra, former Union Minister

I wrote this book as a clarification to the allegation that I was instrumental in nine TD MPs abstaining from voting to save the PV Narasimha Rao government in 1992. I was expelled from the TD on this charge. People have welcomed my book as a factual record.

Fourteen years have passed since I wrote the book. Several political changes took place in the country. Single party rule is now over. It is the time of coalition politics. The economic reforms undertaken by PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh in 1991 have put the country on the path of progress. India achieved a lot because of this initiative.

N Chandrababu exaggerated his policies and programmes both at the national and the international level through media blitzkrieg.

There are two parts in my book. The first part, published earlier, is a serial of events in my life. Now I am presenting the second part. The first past is a 55 years of record. the second part is just a compilation of the memories of 14 years from 1992.

At the personal level my activities have become slow. There are no sensational issues in this book. I have divided the book into several chapters. No chronology of events followed. It is self-explanatory.

I was expelled from the TD on March 12, 1992. I was declared the next day as independent MP in the Rajya Sabha. Then I started cooperating the PV Narasimha Rao government. I helped PV a lot in the selection of the President, vice-president and the Speaker.

The TD lost majority in RS in April 1994 with its strength coming down to three. Then I gather the support of independent MLAs and smaller parties and with 15 members we formed united parliamentary group. We got recognition for our party.

I was invited by Advani for breakfast. He asked me I could join the party. Vajpayee, Murli Manohar Joshi and Sikandar Bakht were present.

When reports appeared in the Press that I am joining the BJP, Narasimha Rao sent his confidant The Hindustan Times special correspondent Kalyani Shankar.

K Vijayabhaskar Reddy became the chief minister on October 9, 1992. He was my well wisher. He helped me in joining the Congress. PV ruled for five years. He was an astute ruler. He introduced economic reforms. Manmohan Singh's entry into PV Cabinet changed the whole economic scenario in the country. Reforms like Panchayat Raj and Nagarpalika amendments introduced. The Opposition though created hurdles, PV could overcome them successfully. Mandal Commission report was fully implemented during the PV rule. The rule was also marred by demolition of Babri Masjid.

PV once remarked: Every action has a reaction and that reaction is normally bad. Why should one rush to get that negative reaction> We will take a decision when it is inevitable.

NTR dethroned

Lakshmi Parvathi's marriage was a turning point in NTR's life. In 1994 elections held on December 10 the TD won 219 seats. On December 12, NTR became the Chief Minister for the fourth time. In 1995 July Harikrishna developed differences with NTR. On August 17 NTR went on a north Andhra tour.

Third Front

During the BJP rule did the nation really shine. NDA government ran simply on the individual charisma and strength of Vajpayee. The rule was marred by poverty, rising prices, closure of industries and inflation. The book also deals with the entry of Sonia Gandhi into politics and the election of the President and the vice-president in 1992.

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