Concern shown by Indira Gandhi

As mentioned before, Indiraji had confidence in me. I am grateful to the love and concern she showered on me. I recall an incident in 1977-78. Indira Gandhi was not in power then. Congress had organised a huge rally at Ram Leela Maidan. After the rally, me and Sadashiv Kamat were returning in an auto. Suddenly, our auto toppled as one person came in the way of the auto. Both of us were stuck beneath the auto and Kamat who was well built, fell on me. My right hand was fractured.

By then rickshaw driver had come to know that I was an MP. He requested us to not to register a case. We assured him that we will not file complaint. We went to a hospital and my hand was plastered. Later I flew to Mangaluru. My family members came to know about the accident only after I came home. (I shifted my family to Delhi only after I became Minister.)

The news of the accident had also reached Indira Gandhi. After all her efforts to reach me failed, she had left a message to visit her on my return to Delhi. When I met her after 10-15 days with plaster on my hand, she gently hit on my back and said; 'Why did you not inform me about the accident? Have you become such a big leader now, that you did not think it worthwhile to inform me?' she mildly scolded while touching the bandage. She dialled the Wellington Hospital and told doctors that she is sending me to the hospital and they should take good care of me. This was the humane side of the Iron lady.

After I left the room, she told others in the room about how committed I was and how I didn't want to trouble anyone with the news of my accident.

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