YOGA keeps him fit and helps him get through a stressful 20-hour working day. But it doesnt help him win friends. And like it or not, the post of private secretary to the Congress president is, in some measure, a popularity contest. A competition that, in the dynasty-ridden politics of the party, has turned out to be an acrimonious matter of prestige. Face to face, the super efficient George comes across as any polite and pleasant 44 - year-old would. Expressing shock at the allegations made by Abhishek Verma, he maintains, "Ive never met him." Nor is the claim that he received Rs 3 crore or thereabouts through a hawala transaction true.
If George is unpopular, say his friends, its because hes overburdened. Endlessly juggling appointments, phone calls, faxes, e-mails, tour programmes and briefings is enough to drive anyone crazy. Besides, now he has to handle the additional burden of Parliament.
If he keeps senior party leaders waiting, its because hes engaged by pressing tasks. If he doesnt manage to fix appointments for them, its because the Congress president doesnt want to see them. Hes only the buffer, absorbing flak that would otherwise be directed at his boss. If the Congress president takes a decision, its her own. If she consults anyone, it is members of the CWC.
As for the controversial Ashok Aggarwal, hes just one of the many bureaucrats with whom George inevitably as a result of his job came into contact.