Not yet MP, could Nandan Nilekani become PM?

On December 8, as the results of the assembly elections in the four States showed that opinion polls are not always wrong, and as the clamour for clarity on the Congress’s “prime ministerial candidate” a la the BJP grew in overheated TV studios, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said:

“I think people need not worry. At the opportune time, the name of the PM candidate… the name of him will be announced.”

Despite the ungrammatical awkwardness of “him”, the invocation of the male gender in her response triggered instant speculation. Was it going to be son Rahul Gandhi, or could it finance minister P. Chidambaram, or could it be a totally new face?

The Times of India, which broke the news in September that former Infosys man and UID chief Nandan Nilekani was being thought of as a potential Congress candidate from Bangalore South, now reports that Nilekani could be Sonia Gandhi’s “him” with a boiler-plate denial.

When TOI called him, Nilekani’s immediate and only reaction was, “Complete rubbish. This must be a figment of someone’s over-active imagination.”

Obviously, Nilekani’s candidature is predicated on several imponderables. That Rahul Gandhi may not want the top job, should he by a stroke of miracle become eligible for it. That other potential candidates in the Congress will quietly acquiesce should Nilekani’s name come up. Etcetera.

But the Congress moves in mysterious ways, often with some fingers of the left hand not knowing what the other fingers of the same left hand are doing.

In an interview with Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief of The Indian Express, for NDTV’s walk the talk programme, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah takes a few questions on Nilekani’s predicted candidature. The responses are mighty revealing.

Is Nandan Nilekani going to contest one of the three Bangalore seats?

He has not discussed this with me, but it is news which has appeared… Don’t know whether he is contesting or not.

Do you think it is a good idea if he contests ? Will you be happy?

I don’t know because I have not discussed it with him. And he has also not discussed it with me. About 15 days back we met, but he did not discuss it with me.

As a friend, will you advise him to contest, or not?

It is for the Congress to decide. If he wants to contest, then the Congress has to take a decision now.

But will you recommend his name?

Let him say whether he is interested or not. I do not know whether he is interested.

That’s the problem with your party, everybody has to go and ask.

If he comes to the party, I will welcome him. But I don’t know whether he is ready to contest or not, he is willing to contest or not. But ultimately the high command has to decide.

So, not yet an MP, does Nandan Nilekani stand a chance of being PM?

Dream on.

Photograph: courtesy Namas Bhojani/ Forbes India

Also read: Can Nandan Nilekani win from Bangalore South?

Dear Nandan, quit Infosys, join politics, start a party

Nandan Nilekani: the six things that changed India

CHURUMURI POLL: Has Nilekani trounced NRN?

MUST READ: 12 things no one is telling us about namma Nandu

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16 Responses to “Not yet MP, could Nandan Nilekani become PM?”

  1. Vedantha Deshikachar Says:

    Mr.Nandan sure has managerial skills but does not have MIS MANAGERIAL SKILLS which is very important in congress. But he is no match to seasoned politicians

  2. s k muthanna Says:

    If Nilekani is sensible and wise, should tag on to the Aam Aadmi’s AAP. Sure he can clearly and cleanly architecture the 21st Century India and take it to the top in the world order. Not with the Congress; he will be used like M M Singh ( PM) and Sheila Dik-shit.

  3. Vishy23 Says:

    The AAP effect or so to say the Alternatives’ effect……I am truely loving it…..It’ll be a really good choice if Nilekani is made PM candidate of INC.
    One, it paves the way for transformation of traditional politics and governance
    Two, more and more such people will jump into public life

  4. tuLuva Says:

    Nilekani is another opportunistic guy. his aadhaar card is another big scam as it stands today. Pathetic implementation has ruined its very purpose.

  5. DHL Says:

    “The Power of The Good” is like the Google’s “Do no Evil”

  6. Deepak Says:

    If Congress thinks that making Nilekani PM candidate will win it votes, it shows their total bankruptcy!! Who knows who Nilekani is? You think people will run to vote for him because he brought Aadhar? People view Aadhar as a wasteful exercise where they have to stand in queue for hours and then run around with aadhar card to register it. No one is going to vote for him for that reason. And 75% of India don’t know about his Infosys role and will not care a bit on that track record. The only one who knows about his IT background are the techies, who anyway are voting for Modi.

    If Congress is serious, they should sack the incompetent Manmohan immediately and make Nilekani PM and then in the next 3-4 months, Nilekani should show what he is capable of. This too is a near impossible scenario.

    All said and done, Congress is doomed, they have no chance now. Let them listen to their ideologue Mani Shankar Aiyar and ready themselves to sit in the opposition.

  7. datta Says:

    If he will be anointed like MMS, we will have yet another puppet PM. Looks like the congress high command is looking for puppets. MMS got all the blame for mismanagement, congress high command got many credits via NAC. Now that MMS’s image is completely tarnished, looks like they are looking for another bakra. Mr. Nilekani, please don’t become one.

  8. Nastika Says:


    The only one who knows about his IT background are the techies, who anyway are voting for Modi.

    News to me. I had assumed techies were voting for AAP this time :)


  9. Vinay Says:


    Will AAP contest national elections? If yes, from which constituencies?

    Modi still remains the first choice for middle-class India. If and when AAP contests in some constituencies, it may take some sheen off Modi, but at the moment that seems unlikely.

  10. Anonymous Guy Says:

    It is a scary thought that the guy behind the aadhar scheme (scam?) could be the PM of India.

    A politician like Modi or Manmohan Singh is any day preferable to a technocrat who harbors plan of doing a Nineteen Eighty-Four

  11. asha Says:

    Nandan Nilekani has a good chance of becoming PM based on the Illegal Bangaldeshi Aadhar card holders preference to vote for Congress

  12. harkol Says:

    I’d have been excited if Mr. Nilekani tried fighting elections from any other party (or even as independent).

    Congress and Gandhi family slavery? No way.

  13. Ranjith Says:

    We had hopes for this man. Now he’s just been bought by the Gandhi family.

  14. Kamath Says:

    Nilekani’s pet-white elephant called “Aadhar” card, (Project cost estimate is Rs. 18,000 crores!), has caused a lot of heart burning to one and all who have to travel a long distance and stand in the queue and even bribe . Of course, to the illegal Bangladeshi’s it has been the Cong-I biggest vote-bank based gift so far! Many newspapers have revealed that about 1.50 crore Bangladeshi “intruders” have been quietly getting badly needed Indian proof, Viz., ‘aadhar’ cards to avail the benefits of the bankrupt Cong-I government schemes, apart from voting for the Cong-I crooks and allies like Mulayalam Singh Yadav, Mayawathi, Laloo Prasad Yadav, Sharad Pawar, Paswan, DMK family..etc.

    The non-kannadiga (he can only speak Kokani, English and a bit of Hindi & Marathi) co-founder of slave trade-outsourcer and visa-fraud company Infosys with an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion USD, is among the top 50 richest Indians and an elitist, completely out-of-touch with a garbage-filled, pot-holed Bangalore or rural India. One of Churumuri’s readers had earlier mentioned that the Konkani-speaking billionaire could not even deliver a 5-minutes speech in Kannada channel (DD Chandana) on Sir MV’s birthday. The ex- Bishop Cotton Boys School and IIT-Mumbai alumnus has a palatial home in the posh Koramangala area in Bangalore South constituency, has two children well-settled in the US.

    Apparently among the canny crooks in the Congress-I who have been pushing for Nilekani to become MP or PM, are the most nervous, tainted and extraordinary corrupt like Sibal, Chidu, Moily, Ashwini Kumar, Jaiswal, Bansal, Rajiv Shukla, Shakeel, Khurshid, Jayanti, Jairam, Diggi, Manish Tiwari, Oscar, Kharge, Muniyappa..etc. And off late after multiple cases of prosecution for rape and sexual-harassment, the key Cong-I spokesman called Abhishek Singhvi, (who has tantalizing videos on the web of his special talent with woman colleagues) has been pressurizing Rahul and Madam, to convince Nandan to come out-of-the-closet desperately inject a dose of credibility to its ranks!

    Madam, Rahul and Mauni-Mohan’s cabinet, are probably hoping that by fielding Nilekani as a MP or PM, the party can not only garner the black money, kick-backs and massive-stealth contributions of India Inc., but also the votes of elitist class who are insensitive to the recurrent and expensive campaign of policy paralysis, record-breaking scams, economic stagnation and shocking financial downturn.

    The Aadhaar is the billion dollar ponzi scheme and trojan horse, sadly marketed as a means to reach government benefits to the poor, by a dysfunctional-lame-duck government which will ultimately compromise our security without even a fig leaf of statutory protection for our privacy.

    While the common-man is struggling to literally survive with sky-high prices while helplessly watching all the scams and mega-scams, Nandan Nilekani is probably the miracle man to run India and manage the various Ponzi schemes of Congress-I.

    What’s more, while we all know that the very survival of congress party depends on Muslim votes (does not matter of they are Bangla or Pakistani intruders), the Centre’s move to provide the subsidy money directly deposited into the bank accounts of Bangladeshi ‘aadhar’ card holders will prove to be a big problem for the next government in the days to come.

    From the Aadhaar project to the successive mega-scams involving Coal Gate (Rs10 lakh crores!), NRHM, MGNREGA, Rail Gate, ISRO’s S-band, Cash-For-Vote, Oil-For-Food, Havala, GMR-DIAL, Securities, Antrix Devas, Adarsh Housing society, Granite-Iron Ore, Vodafone Tax, Airbus, Stamp Paper , Irrigation, Scorpene Submarine, Saradha Group, Etihad-Jet Airways, Kingfisher Loans, Taj Corridor, Tatra Trucks, Agusta Westland-VVIP helicopters…the list is too long and endless, the key culprit is a party that is now universally synonymous with record-breaking, massive corruption in India.

    Meanwhile, in the midst of the entire nation ridiculing the latest news-leak from the Congress-I, the routed Delhi CM ‘s son and Party Spokesman Sandeep Dikshit, dismissed as “hypothetical” talk of Nandan Nilekani being made the PM candidate, maintaining that it was for the high command to choose Rahul Gandhi since no one else is qualified!

    To help restore the pride of his former colleague, Infosys’ chairman and famous Anglophile NR Narayana Murthy, threw his weight behind Nilekani’s expected plunge into politics asserting that Nilekani has all the great qualities to be elected as a Member of Parliament and as a PM! Murthy who has shamelessly defended his son Rohan Murty’s entry into the company, saying there had been no violation of corporate governance rules or values he himself always espoused in inducting his son, is very keen on getting the Govt’s help to bail-out his company from various corporate governance, visa fraud and employee discrimination charges.

    All said and done, the on-and-off-and-on news on Nilekani are all intentionally planted in advance, by the Cong-I’s media/PR managers, to gauge public opinion. After the last news leak that the Adhaar-villain will get a Congress-I MP ticket from Blr-South constituency got an extremely adverse reaction in the educated and politically-aware local population, it appears like the latest news leak is another ill-advised strategy by the hare-brained Congress-I think-tank.

  15. Ravi Says:

    @Nastika – Majority of IT guys are still with Modi. BJP is safe at national level as long it’s in Modi’s hand.

  16. dr ramesh Says:

    Few days back, visited LPG GAS DISTRIBUTOR to clarify about ADHAR CHAOS. Every poor and middle class family is being harassed by this project called AADHAR. LPG distribution before was going on smoothly, but since inception of AADHAR entire system has become more corrupt, cumbersome and anti-poor.
    Every senior citizen has a sorry, heart wrenching tale to tell about the difficulties faced because of AADHAR. Their anger will explode during elections,reflecting in the election verdict.
    Congress is committing a big mistake by Fielding a HIFI, TECHNOCRAT whose pet project AADHAR is hurting the common man.
    Even the meetings NN is conducting in Bangalore is in English, Kannada is being deliberately neglected.this is ploy by corporate lobby to marginalize Kannada.

    AAM AADMI PARTY sounds like Hindi hegemony, they have to change it to.JANA SAAMAANYARA PAKSHA in karnataka .

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