New Delhi: Citing former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's observation that only 15 paise of a rupee reached the deserving, Congress member Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday said he was "ashamed" of belonging to the bureaucracy which was responsible for the situation.
   
"I am ashamed of belonging to the bureaucracy. If we see them (bureaucracy) from the point of view Rajiv Gandhi's statement," Aiyar said in Rajya Sabha during a debate on the Appropriation Bill, 2011.
   
When his party colleague P J Kurien asked if he was serious in saying that he was ashamed of belonging to the bureaucracy, he emphatically said, "Yes, I am considering a statement of Rajiv Gandhi."
   
He made the comment in the presence of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Aiyar was an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer before joining politics and had served in Indian missions abroad.

Known to be a close aide of Rajiv Gandhi, he also served as Union Minister in different Congress governments.

Aiyar made the statement in context of the fruits of development not reaching grassroots level particularly in Naxal-infested areas of the country.

(Agencies)