Former Minister and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh launched his book
Intertwined Lives: Indira Gandhi and P.N. Haksar
at an event organised by Manthan here on Saturday. In conversation with journalist C. Rammanohar Reddy, Mr. Ramesh dwelt at length on motivation for writing the book and clarifying the various pulls and pressures of realpolitik that defined the relationship between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her key interlocutor for six years: P.N. Haksar.

“This book is in a sense a sequel to the earlier biography of Mrs. Gandhi which examined her role as an environmentalist. I hope my writing phase will be over by 2019,” said Mr. Ramesh, hinting at coming back to power at the Centre, that drew guffaws from the gathering. “Nationalisation was a political exigency and not an economic one. It was dictated when the Congress party put up Sanjeeva Reddy as a candidate for President and Mr. Haksar and Mrs. Gandhi came up with the move to nationalise banks. The Bharatiya Jana Sangh wanted to even nationalise the foreign banks,” said Mr. Ramesh, who has accessed archival information to put together the volume.

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