Harper Collins India
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M.L. Fotedar joined Indira Gandhi as political secretary in July 1980, working from a room at 1 Akbar Raod that was once used by Sanjay Gandhi. From assessing future leaders - be it V.P. Singh, Pranab Mukherjee or Ahmed Patel - with remarkable foresight to straightening up those who were being difficult, he did it all during Mrs Gandhis final term in office.
The Chinar Leaves paints a portrait of a six - decade, long political career that began in Kashmir and gives insights into the murky world of national politics. Here are the stories of many careers that were made and unmade in the Congress. Among these are the saga of Narasimha Rao's no holds barred effort to stay in power, Amitabh Bachcha's falling out of favour with the Gandhi family, the machinations of succession after Indira Gandhi's death, Giani Zail Singh's tiff with Rajiv, and many more Fotedar, for long the voice of political wisdom in the party, also passes his verdict on the current crop of Congress leadership and searches Indira Gandhi's will, to which he was a signatory, for the true successor to her legacy. This is a frank and shocking look at recent political history from the man who exercised immense influence from behind the scenes and whose impact continues to this day.
About the Author M.L. Fotedar was one of Indira Gandhi's closest confidants and served as her political secretary from 1980 to 1984. He played a major role in ensuring that Rajiv Gandhi succeeded his mother as prime minister after her assassination, and also served as his political secretary from 1984 to 1987. He was also primarily responsible getting Sonia Gandhi into active politics and later installing her as Congress president.