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Motilal Vora (1927-2020) ‘was an ideal example of a political worker and leader’


Motilal Vora was an ideal example of what a political worker and leader should be. He was always committed to his job and to performing the duties assigned to him from time to time.

My relations with him go back to 1966, when he wasn’t even in the Congress party. Even yesterday, he had sent her a bouquet of flowers. He was happy to see that and had told his family members that he wanted to talk to me. That was our friendship.

Voraji listened patiently to the grievances of the congressional workers and extended a helping hand to everyone in any way he could.

Perhaps he was one of the few politicians who held office, either in a government or in the party, throughout his career. He was also perhaps the only person in India who was promoted from minister of state to chief minister.

Voraji was known for striking a perfect balance between different leaders. Even though the late leader Arjun Singh proposed his name as the Prime Minister of Madhya Pradesh, he maintained an excellent relationship with Shyama Charan Shukla and Madhavrao Scindia as well.

There was a time when the people of Madhya Pradesh would describe the state government as “Moti-Madhav Express”.

Digvijaya Singh used to narrate how he, as chairman of the Pradesh Congressional Committee (PCC), sent party delegations to Voraji (then Chief Minister) daily with demands and complaints and how he would send them back happily. Along with the guarantees, Voraji would also offer them tea.

I would never say no to anything. It was these qualities that made him love everyone.

There are many political events in which he played an important role, but I don’t want to go into those details. Everyone remembers how he as governor of the state at the time took the oath of Mayawati as prime minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1995. He had friends and admirers in all political parties.

In a way, Voraji was a symbol in himself, and this is what the younger generation should learn from him.

It is a great loss, but I will add that he lived life to the fullest and passed away without much suffering. For me it is a personal loss. Today I have lost a good friend.

(As told to Aurangzeb Naqshbandi)

The writer is a senior leader in Congress.

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