NEW DELHI, India: A two hour meeting between Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President Zail Singh, two days ago, generated optimism in official circles of the possibility of reconciliation between them and to a smooth end to the current controversy over their strained relationship. The Prime Minister and the President met at Rashtrapati Bhawan without any aid and hence no information is forth coming as to what transpired in discussions. However, it was expected that during Padma Award investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan would be provide an incentive for the meeting between the head of State and head of Government. The fact that the exchange of views between two of them lasted two hours came as a surprise.

The duration of the meeting and the extraordinary friendly and tension free atmosphere which prevailed at the investiture ceremony where both Zail Singh and Gandhi were in an informal and happy mood have given rise to a speculation that a way may be found to resolve the differences without prolonging the controversy. The Prime Minister met the President twice first informally before the ceremony and second time formally and by appointment. The second meeting which began around 12:30 p.m. lasted until 2:30 pm. while the long awaited meeting between the two leaders will undoubtedly introduce an element of relaxation in the overall political climate in the capital there is still much uncertainties over the modalities of bringing the ongoing controversy to an end.

Parliament of the controversy and the last word cannot be said on the subject of Prime Minister and President’s relationship till it’s established that the head of the state and head of the government have decided to bury the hatchet and convey the same in some manner to parliament and public.

Article extracted from this publication >>  April 3, 1987