Kamalnayan Bajaj - page 85

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KamalnayanBajaj –Architect of theBajajGroup
Just before the elections, SyamaPrasadMookerji
(IndustriesMinister underNehru) broke away to set up
theBharatiya JanaSangh, a proto-BJP, representing the
Hindu right wing. BRAmbedkar formed the Scheduled
Caste Federation, later theRepublicanParty of India.
Another high-profileCongress leader, Acharya JB
Kriplani, founded theKisanMazdoor PrajaParty. Ram
Manohar Lohia and JPNarayanwere the forces behind
the Socialist Party. And theCommunists (thenunited),
having just abandoned an armed struggle inTelangana,
contested 49 seats. TheBolshevikParty of India and the
Zamindar Party toowere among the contestants.
Sardar Patel didnot live to contest. Ambedkar lost in
Bombay toNarayanSadobaKajrolkar of theCongress.
KakasahebKalelkar became anMP, going on to
head India’s First BackwardClassesCommission (the
predecessor of theMandal Commission) in 1953. Two
futurePMswere elected:Gulzari Lal Nanda andLal
Bahadur Shastri. Congresswon a landslide victory,
winning 364 of the 489 seats and 45% of the total votes
polled.Nehrubecame the first democratically elected
PrimeMinister of India.
Rewinding to early 1951,Kamalnayan iswondering
if he should contest fromRajasthan orMaharashtra.
He had a toe-hold inSikar andmore than a foot in
Wardha. ShrimanNarayan,married toMadalsa,
andRameshwarprasadNevatia toKamla, were also
planning to contest. The three brothers-in-lawdebated
anddecided thatRameshwarprasadwould contest
fromShahabad inUP, Shriman fromWardha in
Maharashtra andKamalnayan fromSikar inRajasthan.
GettingCongress ticketswas a cinch. Rameshwarprasad
andShrimanwon.Kamalnayan lost.
Post elections, asNehruandKamalnayangrew into their
roles, cracks began toappear in their relationship. Even
asNehru criss-crossed India inauguratingone industrial
complexafter another constructedby ‘industrialists’,
theFabian socialist laid the foundation for theLicense
Raj.And therewereother pinpricks. SuchasVK
KrishnaMenon.AnMPanddiplomat,Menonwas
oneofNehru’smost trustedadvisors.Nehru received
coldlyRamkrishna’s complaints aboutMenon.The
Communists launcheda campaign linkingbusinessmen
to theCIA. Eye-poppingandheadline grabbingas itwas,
the campaignpeteredout for lackof credibility. But the
Bajajsweredragged into the controversynonetheless.
Relations between theNehrudynasty and theBajajs
fractured in 1969when IndiraGandhi split theCongress
party.Kamalnayanwas aCongressMP at the time.
Growingupwithprimeministers:
(a)With India's1stPrimeMinister, JawaharlalNehru
(b)With India's2ndPrimeMinister, LalBahadurShastri
(c)With India's4thPrimeMinister, IndiraGandhi
(d)With India's5thPrimeMinister,MorarjiDesai
(d)
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