Pradhan jokes that PNGRB member legal is 'God'

Vol 22, PW 3 (15 Nov 18) People & Policy

Dharmendra Pradhan was clearly in a good mood when he attended a review meeting for a publicity stunt that will see Narendra Modi 'virtually' inaugurate new CGD-IX networks and launch CGD-X.

When he attended the meeting at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi on November 8 Pradhan was met by a silent hall full of officials and sector representatives, showing the regard in which he is held. As Pradhan passed the PNGRB desk and strode towards the stage, PNGRB member legal SS Chahar greeted him with a loud "Namaste Mantriji! (Hello minister)." Hearing this, Pradhan stopped and turned around.

"Who are you?" he asked. Chahar replied he is Member Legal at the PNGRB.

Pradhan retorted in Hindi: "Aare aap to Bhagwan hain (Oh then you are God)!" This broke the ice and the hall filled with laughter. At the meeting Pradhan met representatives from CGD newcomers including AG&P and Think Gas.

GAIL director marketing Gajendra Singh also introduced him to new Adani Gas chief Suresh Manglani. When Singh said Manglani was formerly with GAIL and Mahanagar Gas, Pradhan replied in Hindi: "All the good people leave state-owned companies for the private sector.

It seems all of you have some sort of match fixing (dishonest) intentions." Pradhan later rushed out of the review meeting for an important call after his personal secretary ran in to hand him his mobile. Some speculate Narendra Modi was on the line.