Beyondheadlines News Desk
New Delhi: Close to the heals of yesterday’s attack on the UPA government by the opposition over the “cash-for-votes” controversy on the 2008 trust vote for the Indo-US nuclear deal, another Wikileaks explosion revealed US interference in Indian political decisions. US State of Secretary Hillary Clinton has questioned Pranab’s appointment as Finance Minister and has also asked its New Delhi Embassy why Pranab was chosen over Montek Singh Ahluwalia for the portfolio.
In a cable to the New Delhi Embassy in September 2009, a few months after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh settled in for a second term, Hillary Clinton asked, “To which business groups is Mukherjee beholden?’; Why was [he] chosen over Montek?”
“To which industrial or business groups is Pranab Mukherjee beholden? Whom will he seek to help through his policies? What are Mukherjee’s priorities in the upcoming budget… ?”
“Why was Mukherjee chosen for the finance portfolio over Montek Singh Ahluwalia? How do Mukherjee and Ahluwalia get along?”
These questions seemed to indicate that the White House was expecting either P Chidambaram to return as Finance Minister or Montek Singh Ahluwalia to be elevated to that post.
The September 14, 2009 cable asks: “What are Mukherjee’s primary economic concerns and his views on Prime Minister Singh’s economic reform Agenda? How quickly does he plan to 5-pursue these reforms? What is his ability to enact reforms?” The sharp Secretary of State also asks: “What are Mukherjee’s views of the US bilateral economic relationship and where does he see the relationship Headed? What areas of cooperation is he eager to advance? How does he see the US-China economic relationship in comparison to the US-India relationship?”