Sometimes, those coming to power undertake cumbersome legislative action or inaction to suppress previous regimes’ policies and achievements. ‘To the victor belong the spoils,’ goes the saying. This, however, was not so after Nandan Nilekani, contesting on a Congress ticket, lost the 2014 parliamentary election from South Bengaluru to BJP’s Ananth Kumar.
The ‘Modi wave’ had delivered a monumental win for BJP, placing PM Narendra Modi at the helm of Indian politics. Nilekani was worried about speculations around the future of Aadhaar and its related schemes. He wanted to discuss the matter with Modi.
In his essay for the newly released book, Modi@20:Dreams Meet Delivery, Nandan Nilekani writes, ‘Towards the end of June 2014, I was in New Delhi wrapping up my home to return permanently to Bengaluru. I sought a meeting with the Prime Minister. To my utter astonishment, I got an appointment within 24 hours at a time convenient to me. I went with some trepidation, as I had such stood for elections on a rival party’s ticket. Modi was gracious and listened to me intently. This time, his questions were about issuing the cards to residents and not citizens and how India’s fiscal situation could benefit from direct transfers and its role in reducing corruption. He was well-informed on all issues, including the privacy case in Supreme Court’,” Nilekani writes and added, “What struck me was his openness to listen and to do what was right for the country. ”