Mani Shankar Aiyar

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Mani Shankar Aiyar (born 10 April 1941) is a former Indian diplomat turned politician. He is a member of the Indian National Congress party and was a part of first Cabinet (2004-2009) of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. He served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas from May 2004 through January 2006 and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports till 2009. He was also the first Minister of Development of North Eastern Region.

 He is currently a nominated member of parliament from Rajya Sabha.

He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1963 and served as Joint Secretary to Government of India. He later resigned from service in 1989 to take up a career in politics and media, entering the Parliament as a Congress MP from Mayiladuthurai in 1991, 1999 and 2004 but was defeated in 1996, 1998, 2009 and 2014. He spent some time in Pakistan posted as a diplomat, serving as India's first consul-general in Karachi from 1978 to 1982.

He is a special invitee to the Congress Working Committee and a chairman of both the party's political training department and the department of policy planning and coordination. He is also a well-known political columnist [citation needed] and has written several books, including Pakistan Papers and Remembering Rajiv, and has edited a four-volume publication, Rajiv Gandhi's India.

 

His special interests include, grassroots democracy, Indian foreign policy particularly with India's neighboring countries and West Asia and nuclear disarmament.

 

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