The second volume of D.P. Mishra’s autobiography covers the years of Nehru’s ascendancy, decline and death, during the major part of which Mishra was himself in the political dog-house. For one whom his friends considered a Chanakya, Mishra shows himself by his own account to be extraordinarily acci¬dent-prone, impulsive and singularly lacking in a sense of timing. Identified, with some reason, as ‘Patel’s man’, his involvement in the ‘Tandon affair’ in the early fifties led to his clashing with Nehru, and eventually, after Patel’s death in December 1950, to his open denunciation of Nehru and resignation from the Madhya Pradesh Government in 1951. In retrospect, all this hardly appears to be the action of a cold-blooded political calculator with an instinct for survival. In fact, all his sub¬sequent troubles that lasted well over a decade, are directly traced by Mishra himself to that bizarre episode, described in some detail in the book.
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