Why was Pranab chosen over Montek? Hillary frowned


New Delhi: A few months after UPA II came into power, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton posed some questions in a cable to the US embassy in New Delhi, according to WikiLeaks India cables, accessed by The Hindu. The cable read: Washington analysts are closely monitoring the newly-appointed economic leaders in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition government. We are interested in their views regarding future economic policy, opportunities for bilateral economic cooperation, and their ability to work together as a cohesive team. As time and resources permit, we would highly value any information on the following topics and questions, and plan to incorporate post reporting into finished analysis for policymakers.

What are Pranab Mukherjee’s primary economic concerns and his views on Prime Minister Singh’s economic reform agenda? How quickly does he plan to pursue these reforms? What is his ability to enact reforms?

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?

Why was Mukherjee chosen for the finance portfolio over Montek Singh Ahluwalia? How do Mukherjee and Ahluwalia get along?

To which industrial or business groups is Mukherjee beholden? Whom will he seek to help through his policies? What are Mukherjee’s priorities in the upcoming budget presentation?

What policies are Mukherjee and other leaders considering addressing the global financial crisis?

What does Prime Minister Singh think about Mukherjee’s new role as finance minister?

What is Mukherjee’s relationship with the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, D.V. Subbarao? How does Subbarao view the removal of Chidambaram from the Minister of Finance slot? What impact has his removal had on relations between the Finance Ministry and the RBI?

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