Sam Pitroda may have won laurels for ushering a telecom revolution into India during the days of Rajiv Gandhi. But after nearly 22 years, Uncle Sam learnt a lesson or two from his political mentor's son Rahul Gandhi here on Wednesday.
Gandhi went from village to village introducing the US-based telecom czar to people in his constituency.
"Do you know him?" Asked Gandhi. Some said he was a minister. Others said he was a close aide of the late Rajiv Gandhi. "You are right. He and the late Rajiv Gandhi brought the telecom revolution to India," said Rahul.
As Rahul stopped at a roadside stall at Fursatganj to treat Pitroda to tea and snacks, a large crowd gathered to narrate their problems. And Pitroda provided some quick-fix solutions. But Gandhi found some of them impractical or somewhat complicated.
When a villager drew Gandhi's attention towards the lack of power supply in his area, Pitroda pointed to an electric pole and told the locals, "Fix it yourselves".
Gandhi had to intervene. "You probably didn't get it – they're talking about power shortage. Not enough power is produced here."
Pitroda had a quick-fix solution for this too: "We will install solar panels to supply power."
When a villager pointed out that solar panels can't be installed as there is no power in the entire area, Pitroda said: "We will set up a solar farm. This will provide power to the entire area. But you'll have to pay for the power you use."
Gandhi did not agree. "This appears to be a bit complicated," he said. But Pitroda stuck to his point. "No... This may be complicated politically but technically it's easy. We will form a cooperative society and they will pay for the use of power." By this time Gandhi thought it best to switch to another subject.