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Andhra Pradesh - Vijayawada Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Politics took a backseat in his last visit

By A. Saye Sekhar

VIJAYAWADA, DEC.23. The last visit of the former Prime Minister, P. V. Narasimha Rao, to Vijayawada and Guntur are fondly remembered by the people here. Though Rao had come to the two cities a few times as the Prime Minister on an official visit and as the Congress chief as part of electioneering, his last visits left a lasting impression in the minds of the people. For, both were purely academic in nature.

Book release

Mr. Rao, during his visit to Vijayawada on October 4, 2002, released the Telugu version - "Lopali Manishi" - of his work, "The Insider". He went to the VMC & Vijayawada Book Festival Society's Research and Reference Library. Mr. Rao, who spent for over 15 minutes there greeted several publishers, former editors of newspapers and writers, and enquired about the literary and academic activity in Vijayawada. He suggested that micro-filming of the age-old literary works was essential. Instead of spending huge amounts in constructing buildings, it's better to preserve the invaluable books and information.

Guntur recalls PV

Mr. Rao visited Hindu College and delivered a spell-binding lecture at a UGC seminar on "Indian Economy - Retrospect and Prospects'' on March 24, 2002. The college committee president, Madhavapeddi Radhakrishna Murthy, and the secretary, Mannava Radhakrishna Murthy, and the former MP, Yalamanchili Sivaji, would remember the day for long.

On economics

He challenged the then Government to come up with a new economic policy that was different from the "mixed economy'' envisaged by Jawaharlal Nehru. He felt that political instability had had its bearing on the country's economy and foreign investment. The former Prime Minister defended the economic policies launched by his Government in 1991.

"I provided the necessary political muscle, while Dr. Manmohan Singh executed the policy. We drew a `Lakshmana Rekha' and neither of us crossed it,'' he had said.

Mr. Rao questioned the rationale in disposing of public sector undertakings (PSUs). "In the garb of disinvestment, if you want to deprive yourself of the ownership of public property, people will not forgive you, as you are tampering with their ownership," he said. "If you have not given up the mixed economy, you have no right to sell the PSUs,'' he added.

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