WikiLeaks cable on Defence Minister Bansi Lal pledging loyalty to Indira Gandhi

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A new cable - released by WikiLeaks - sent by US diplomats in India to their home office in Washington illustrates the sycophancy of then Defence Minister Bansi Lal towards Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Read the cable:

1. IN AN EXTRAORDINARY COMMENT TO A RALLY IN HARYANA JAN 18, UNION DEFMIN BANSI LAL IS REPORTED BY PIT TO HAVE SAID THAT HE WAS
LOYAL TO MRS GANDHI PERSONALLY AND NOT TO THE OFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER. HE SAID HE WOULD REMAIN LOYAL TO HER ALL HIS LIFE. ALL HIS STRENGTH CAME FROM THE "BLESSINGS" OF MRS GANDHI.
"OTHERWISE I AM ONE OF THE 600 MILLION LIVING IN THIS COUNTRY. WHATEVER TASKS SHE GIVES ME, I DO IT (SIC) WITH DEDICATION." 2. COMMENT:
ASIDE FROM RAISING QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS OATH OF OFFICE TO THE CONSTITUTION AND PRESIDENT, THE DEFENSE MINISTER'S REMARKS MAY WELL ALSO STRIKE A SOMEWHAT SOUR


CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL PAGE 02 NEW DE 00937 200404Z

NOTE FOR THE OFFICERS OF THE INDIAN ARMY. EMBASSY AND DAO OFFICERS WILL BE WATCHING FOR ANY INDICATION OF ANNOY- ANCE OR CONCERN WITHIN THE INDIAN MILITARY TO BANSI LAL'S SUGGESTION THAT HIS ORDERS TO THEM MAY RELATE MORE DIRECTLY TO MRS GANDHI'S PERSONAL INTERESTS THAN TO THOSE OF THE STATE. THERE IS, OF COURSE, THE EQUALLY INTRIGUING POSSIBILITY THAT OTHER MINISTERS MAY BEGIN TO OFFER SIMILAR PROFESSIONS OF PERSONAL LOYALTY TO MRS GANDHI AS WELL.



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