‘Manmohan govt never moved any file to Sonia office’

Prithviraj Chavan rubbished Natwar Singh’s allegations and also spoke on party strategy for Assembly polls.

Written by Shubhangi Khapre | Mumbai | Published:August 8, 2014 2:49 am

In an interview to Shubhangi Khapre, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan rubbishes Natwar Singh’s allegations; also speaks on party strategy for Assembly polls

Former external affairs minister Natwar Singh has alleged that 10, Janpath would often ask for important government files. In the past, you worked as a Union minister in the PMO. What has been your experience?

I can state with certainty that files were never sent to 10, Janpath (Sonia Gandhi’s office). It is rubbish. At least, as far as files from the PM O was concerned, they were neither sought nor sent. I really don’t know on what basis Natwar Singh has made the remarks. As the chairperson of the UPA, Sonia Gandhi had never asked PMO for any file to be shown or brought for discussion. I would also like to state that as the Congress chief she had every right to discuss the policy matters to ascertain how much of the promises made in election manifesto were being implemented; or to ensure the Congress ideology was not being deviated while evolving any policy decision or its implementation. Moreover, the Congress Working Committee often would discuss some critical issues that concerned the party and there was nothing wrong in that.

So, you feel there was no violation of Official Secrets Act?

Where was the question? Now, let’s take the example of Maratha reservation. All that a party leader would require to point out is what should be done on the matter. Do you have to actually call for the government file and go through pages after pages? It’s never done. Similarly, on all critical issues, the CWC or the core committee had every right to raise the concerns and address them through dialogue with the government.

How do you see AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s renewed aggression in Parliament?

Well, it is good (smiles).

Is Priyanka Gandhi gearing up to play a pro-active role in the Congress?

I think its going to be her personal decision on whether she wants to play any direct role or not. I wouldn’t like to make any comment.

Will PM Narendra Modi remain a factor in Maharashtra elections?

Frankly speaking, I don’t think Modi factor will work in Assembly elections. If we look at the manner in which things are going at the Centre after he took over as the PM, there is a lot of criticism.

If it were so, why is your campaign centred around criticism of Modi?

No, the Congress is not going to emphasise on an anti-Modi campaign in the elections. On the contrary, my emphasis would be on projecting the development in the last five years. I believe there is a need to highlight several policy decisions taken by the state government.

What is the status of the Congress-NCP alliance?

I am confident the Congress and NCP will contest the 2014 elections as allies. I don’t want to hazard any guess on the seat-sharing formula. But I can reveal that there is going to be some smart swapping of seats.

How do you explain the controversial decisions related to Maratha and Muslim reservation that has led others like Dhangars and Lingayats to seek quota?

The issue of Maratha and Muslim reservation had been pending for a very long time. It was based on aspirations of a section of the communities, which sought reservation in education and jobs.

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  1. D
    Dr. K.
    Aug 8, 2014 at 11:15 am
    How does Prithiviraj Chavan know that no files were moved from PM's office to Sonia's residence at 10 Janpath? He is in Mumbai not one of the staffs of the PM office. Does he say this to please Sonia to get some favors?
    Reply
    1. D
      deevee Pariyarath
      Aug 8, 2014 at 11:39 pm
      Well with a shaking chair he cannot antogonise party higher ups now so wont reveal anything unpleasant even if he knows anything for that matter
      Reply
      1. H
        Haren Shah
        Aug 8, 2014 at 9:33 am
        CM Mr. Chavan has hardly any choice but to defend Ms. Sonia vehemently as his very seat of CM was saved by her against the likes of Mr. Rane and others!! You scratch my back and I do yours!! Both of they are itchy though!!
        Reply
        1. J
          JS Kksla
          Aug 8, 2014 at 11:15 am
          another congi....
          Reply
          1. R
            Ritwij
            Aug 8, 2014 at 5:30 pm
            Prithviraj Chauhan was Parliamentary affairs minister in charge of PMO during the UPA regime. In that capacity, he must know whether the files were moved from PMO to Mrs. hi's office. He came to Mumbai as CM in 2010.
            Reply
            1. R
              Ritwij
              Aug 8, 2014 at 5:31 pm
              Prithviraj Chavan was Parliamentary affairs minister in charge of PMO during the UPA regime. In that capacity, he must know whether the files were moved from PMO to Mrs. hi's office. He came to Mumbai as CM in 2010.
              Reply
              1. u
                uutham%40gmail uutham%40gmail
                Aug 8, 2014 at 11:35 am
                Sitting in Mumbai, this Chavan guy seems to know all that happened in Delhi, but not what was happening in Maharastra. Yet another "Pleasing the Madam" act by the obedient servant of Italian family.
                Reply
                1. C
                  Citizen
                  Aug 8, 2014 at 4:23 pm
                  Sycophant to the core for selfish reasons. Every one knows what was going on in Delhi during last UPA rule whether files are moved or persons have gone to brief and take orders god only knows???? Jaihind
                  Reply
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