Menon out of favour

September 22 2013

Now in order to appease the US, the country’s prime minister is trying to clip the wings of National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon. What is otherwise the reason that Menon is meeting Sonia and Rahul Gandhi so frequently? The same Menon who liked to keep a distance from the media is inviting journalists for interactions and is giving them briefs about internal security and foreign policy. Menon is also upset with the prime minister because the PM has placed four envoys on his head. PM’s special ambassador S K Lamba is, in any case, already taking care of the Afghanistan-Pakistan matter. Shyam Saran has been given the charge of the US-Indo Nuclear Deal for Climate Change. Former Cabinet Minister Ashwini Kumar is taking care of Japan. On the other hand, Rakesh Sood, who has been India’s ambassador to Afghanistan and Nepal, has been made a special ambassador for the disarmament and non-proliferation. On the other hand, Menon has always been of the opinion regarding Sood that he has made India and Nepal’s relationship go from bad to worse. What was it then that Manmohan wanted to reward him for? This is the reason Menon got an unofficial restriction against Sood to sit in the South Block and arrangements were made for him to sit in an office near Patel Chowk. The matter was solved after the prime minister intervened and an office was made ready for Sood in the South Block. Although Menon is going with the prime minister to the US, Manmohan Singh is also taking S Jayshankar along with him, who will also be the next Indian ambassador to the US. Menon has been India’s ambassador in China and has good knowledge of Chinese and Chinese diplomacy. So his natural inclination is more towards China than the US and this is what the American lobby does not like.

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