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M Subramaniam R Desikan – the crusader of consumer interests is gone He took Kone to great heights… Sivaraman, 100 ‘Hero’ rides into the sunset A Gandhian breathes his last on Gandhi Jayanthi The honest Sardarji Jeppiar calls it a day A multi-faceted leader rests in peace Centurion ‘Leo’ rests in peace Tribute – Ja Ra Su He took space science to such great heights! India’s Master Builder… The scientist-engineer who lucidly explained economics Tribute - R K Baratan VV Goes... Transport S Narayanan Cement, calcium carbide, shipping… TSN turned these and more into gold Remembering Chariji MSV – the King of Light Music Music Samrat!!! - TMS Dr M G K Menon A statue for RV, at last! Fighter-pilot turned monk... He elevated B&C to its best... Master of strokes ‘Mandolin’ stops playing... Missile Man takes flight Saeed Jaffrey ‘Sai’ Srinivasan no more He was the greatest. KP is no more He breathed transport development A multi faceted prince is no more... New team at the helm at TANSTIA A versatile, humane and efficient administrator/litterateur A honest bank executive... Remembering I K Gujral… Tribute: Dr. Krishnamoorthy Srinivas Justice Iyer, 100 Brilliant Saeed saab Tribute – Baldev Raj If only he had fastened the seat-belt... A versatile legend moves on Big ideas, not big words, are important... Scientist and leader of educational reforms Father of German unification no more... The ‘Q’ factor cost him Cabinet Secretary’s post When SPIC spawned star managers... Colour-Chem's colorful personality The motor sportsman is no more Bal Thackeray A genius civil servant fades How to build a nation Deora – the best networked politician.... Honest civil servant A welcome biography on a towering CA Another Leo of real estate and education is no more He contributed so much to the telecom revolution Question on Operation X The Rajha of Rajapalayam... The Hero of bicycles rests in peace Music loses a maestro KB Sir for all... Endearing Aachi... This trendsetter is no more Dada of drip irrigation... Flute falls silent Samskrt loses a passionate exponent...
Deora – the best networked politician....

The best tribute for Murli Deora who passed away recently came from Finance and I&B Minister Arun Jaitley: “there was something about Murli Deora that made him win friends across the spectrum... He would rub shoulders with his constituents, as well as captains of industry... He was at ease dealing with politicians and civil servants....He was unquestionably the best and most networked politician in India....”

I had occasions to interact with him at the Economic Editors’ Conferences. I remember the sessions with Deora as Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas. Rich data was provided on the sector. In November 2009 gas production at the Reliance gas fields in the Krishna-Godavari Basin peaked to 60 msmcmd/day. Deora projected this to grow to 80 msmcmd by March 2010; with ONGC, Cairn India and GSPC also succeeding, he made an optimistic projection of the KG Basin; around even 200 msmcmd (sadly, this projection did not come true; production dropped to less than 30 msmcmd in 2010). In such meetings Deora left the presentations and interactions to Department Secretaries (M S Srinivasan, R S Pandey..., ) and respected their special knowledge.

Yashwant Sinha, in a recent address also paid a glowing tribute to Deora on his invaluable help for the passage of the IRDA bill that opened up the insurance sector. Remember, the support of the Congress party was vital for the passage of such bills. Sinha referred to the extremely helpful attitude of Deora who was then Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance.

 Murli Deora, was an industrialist and social worker before foraying into politics. In 1977 he was elected as the Mayor of Mumbai South. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2004 and served as Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas from 2006. He stood against the oilmen’s strike with an iron fist, breaking his image as a soft person. He worked hard to shield consumers from the impact of oil’s high price run.

Deora was the man we should thank for bringing the ban on usage of tobacco in public. Smoking in public was prohibited due to his petition before the Supreme Court in 2001.

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