Mukherjee goofs up, repeats four-month-old speech


Guwahati : Industry captains and journalists in the northeast were numbed into silence Sunday when External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee read out almost verbatim a written speech on India’s ‘Look East’ policy that he delivered four months ago.

Support TwoCircles

Mukherjee was speaking on “India’s Look East Policy – Challenges for Sub-Regional Cooperation” in Assam’s main city of Guwahati organised by the public diplomacy division of the external affairs ministry.

“Probably there is nothing else the minister could think of while talking about the Look East policy and so he repeated word by word here what he told a meeting on the same issue sometime in June in Shillong,” Susanta Talukdar, the Guwahati-based correspondent of The Hindu, said.

The minister June 16 delivered a lecture titled “Look East Policy – Geography as an Opportunity” in Meghalaya state capital Shillong.

“The minister read out the same lines as he did in Shillong. We discovered this as the organizers had made available to us his June 16 speech for our reference,” another journalist stated.

“Had the organizers not given us his earlier speech in the form of a booklet, maybe it would have gone unnoticed that he was repeating exactly the same words and phrases,” he added.

The organizers were, however, enthused by the minister’s speech.

“You have excited us with your speech,” remarked one of the organizers, while offering the vote of thanks to Mukherjee.