Mumbai: Former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Director - Human Resources (HR) of the Infosys, TV Mohandas Pai feels that his one time boss Nandan Nilekani should become the Prime Minister of India. However, he hastily adds that Nandan Nilekani is not a grassroots man and being imposed by the Congress high command in New Delhi. He spoke to Smita Nair of CNN-IBN.
Question: It was called friendly fire when you questioned Nandan Nilekani's suitability to fight from Bangalore- He has announced his intent today- what would you say?
Answer: I welcomed his candidature but what I said reflected the view of many in Bangalore
Question: We need to become a 10 trillion dollar economy. We need people like Nandan Nilekani who can think big, who can make policy changes, open up the system and allow for growth so people can get jobs. Does he understand Bangalore?
Answer: Well he hasn't spent time there. He has been in Delhi. People in Bangalore felt he was not there- those are legitimate views. The issue is of grassroots politics- Do you come up from the grassroots or do you come from the top. Here Nandan has come from the top. Of course Nandan is qualified. Also today people in India don't distinguish between an MLA, MP and Corporator- They want to go to someone who will fix their problem. People want access. If he gets elected from Bangalore south and UPA coms to power he will be made minister- I hope he becomes Prime Minister someday
Question: When asked about congress and corruption- Nilekani- said AADHAR is a tool to fight corruption and that brings him credibility.
Answer: Nandan and educated people are facing a dilemma today that we are socially liberal, economically conservative - you have one rightist party that is socially illiberal- economically conservative - other party which is left of centre is socially liberal is economically profligate they want to spend all money on giveaways. So we are all stuck in the middle. So it's a question of where you are inclined towards social liberalism or economic conservatism? Nandan is a social liberal and so he will go to the Congress. Many in the congress follow politics of doles. They haven't given good governance and think they can buy votes by doles. Hopefully Nandan will change that