By Shastri Ramachandran
NEW DELHI (IDN) — When it comes to well-known public figures, it is the little-known tidbits about them that are interesting.
How and why Rishi Sunak lost to Liz Truss in the race to become UK’s Prime Minister is no big mystery. It is because the cow could not help Sunak. Had he set about winning over a majority of the 160,000 Conservative Party voters the way he had rallied the Tory Members of Parliament, he might well have succeeded in getting to No. 10 Downing Street.
Instead, Sunak, along with his wife Akshata Murthy, chose to do a Gau Puja (cow worship) in London on August 23. Hindu priests guided Sunak and Murthy in the puja rituals such as performing aarti to a cow decorated with colours and handprints for the ceremony.
Like BJP’s first Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sunak should have known that only a cow born and living in India can be Gau Mata and deserving of such rituals.
Vajpayee’s private secretary and later Officer on Special Duty, Shakti Sinha, never tired of telling the story of Vajpayee’s wisecrack while on a tour of Australia when beef was served at a banquet. On seeing the dish placed close to the Vajpayee’s plate, Sinha alerted him to the beef dish on the table.
An unfazed Vajpayee, carried on eating whatever he was tucking away and, between mouthfuls, told Sinha: It is Australian cow, not Indian. Only cow born in India is Gau Mata. Other cows do not deserve to be treated as Gau Mata. Sunak ought to have known this.
Coming to the winner, Liz Truss, she had described her parents as being “to the Left of Labour”. When Truss later stood for election to parliament as the Conservative party’s candidate, her mother agreed to campaign for her, but her father declined to do so. Closer to the election, earlier this year, Truss had said: “I share the values of the Christian faith and the Church of England, but I’m not a regular practising religious person”.
In 2000, Truss married Hugh O’Leary, a fellow accountant, and the couple has two daughters. Some years into the marriage, from 2004 until mid-2005, Truss had an affair with the married MP Mark Field, whom the Conservative Party, at that time, had appointed as her political mentor. However, her marriage with O’Leary survived the affair.
Field’s first wife was a former investment banker Michele Acton. Married in 1994, they divorced in 2006, a year after ending his affair with Truss. Acton became Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2019. Field later married celebrity agent Victoria Elphicke in 2007.
Is her past likely to catch up with Prime Minister Liz Truss in unforeseen ways? [IDN-InDepthNews – 18 September 2022]
The author is Editorial Consultant for WION, a political and foreign affairs commentator, and Senior Editorial Consultant for IDN-INPS.
Photo: (From Left to Right) Rishi Sunak, former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, UK PM Liz Truss. Credit: WION Web Team-
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