In February 1994, as I was preparing to leave Mumbai for Delhi, a senior professional colleague had a word of caution: “Remember, Delhi is very different to our city. It’s a cut-throat, cruel world out there which we Maharashtrians find difficult to adjust to. Be careful.” This month marks 25 years since I became a Mumbaikar in exile in the national capital and I have just about survived.

Nitin Gadkari isn’t quite known to mind his language. A few weeks after he took over as BJP president, he expressed himself with typical candour to a group of journalists: “I know you must be wondering who is this bloody ‘mota’ guy from nowhere. I want to tell all of you I am on a mission, not here for commission!” Three years later, those words may well come to haunt him as he is slowly pushed into exile from the Delhi durbar.

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