The MP FroM ManhaTTan
The late Murli Deora was also known informally as the MP from Manhattan—as much as the MP from South Mumbai— on account of his vast overseas network. It was a well known fact that any visit of Sonia or Rajiv Gandhi (as party president) overseas was organised with the help of Deora senior’s informal network of senators and industrialists. Now, the mantle has been passed on to the next generation, for whenever Rahul Gandhi travels abroad, he is usually accompanied by Murli Deora’s son Milind. Interestingly, at one get together during Rahul’s recent visit to California, a senator commented, “We are not just overseas friends of the Congress, but also overseas friends of the Deora family.” But it is much more than just organising the itinerary, for Milind and Rahul have built a rapport based on a common interest in geopolitics, technology and even pet dogs. Milind’s pug is called Muddy, while Rahul’s pet achieved notoriety after rebel Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma complained how Rahul kept playing with his dog during a meeting with party leaders.