The cable's summary says: "In a review of the career and potential of Rahul Gandhi, 40-year-old heir apparent to the leadership of India's ruling Congress party, the US Ambassador reports conversations with the young politician, speaking appreciatively of recent statements and potential for the future." The key words, lest you miss them, are "reaching out", "career and potential", "heir apparent", "appreciatively" and "future". The man who represents American interests in India was keen on establishing 'contact' with the second most important person in the current, US-friendly dispensation in New Delhi; and it's a hurrah! note to headquarters from him after having established that contact.
As Mr Roemer highlights in his cable, "(Rahul) Gandhi… could become a key interlocutor… as we pursue a strategic dialogue with India." Diplomats know who matters how much in which regime and which 'key interlocutor' can help push their country's agenda. In this case, the agenda of the US, as it would like to see implemented in its newly discovered outpost in South Asia.
Mr Gandhi does — he "was seated next to the Ambassador" and "shared his views on a range of political topics, social challenges and electoral issues for the Congress in the next five years". Since the discussion took place three months after the UPA won a second term in office, we can assume that Mr Gandhi had by then worked out everything for the Congress till 2014; he had charted the course for the party, so to say, to a third, and spectacular, victory in a row, thus enabling his transition from heir apparent to ruler. In between pointing out that the Congress, or the UPA if you wish, had a rather short honeymoon in its second term and detailing his plans to "find younger party members who would not carry some of the baggage of older Congress candidates" to contest and win elections, he commented on "the tensions created by some of the more polarising figures in the BJP such as Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi" (these words have been used by Mr Roemer, we can't be sure whether Mr Gandhi used them in his conversation). It is in this context that Mr Roemer asked Mr Gandhi about the "Lashkar-e-Tayyeba's activities in the region and immediate threat to India". It would be in order to mention here that another US Embassy cable that the LeT's threat to India is real, has not diminished since 26/11 and the Pakistan-based group is planning high profile strikes, including a plot to assassinate Mr Narendra Modi.
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