Lashing out at Sanjaya Baru, former media adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, for his book ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’, the Congress Saturday termed him a “disgruntled ex-employee” and dismissed his book as “fictional” while also questioning its timing.
“The timing is fantastic. You are recording history of four years after six years, bang in the middle of polls. The timing can only be attributed to political motives. Greed, betrayal, ambition and sensationalism have coalesced into a very very unsavoury cocktail,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.
“More than 90 per cent of the book is subjective. He has put forth his own view and not facts. It is fictional,” he said, adding that the book flap itself claimed the book was “packed with political gossip”.
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Alleging that Baru had violated the oath one takes on joining the government and had betrayed the PM’s trust, Singhvi claimed he was “disgruntled” after being denied re-employment that he had sought.
“The denial of re-employment has traumatised the author. This reflects his serious character flaws and lack of ethics,” Singhvi said, adding that people of “standard” do not do a “hatchet” job of their former employers. He said that this had been done for “cheap commercial gains”.
Indicating that Baru was in touch with opposition leaders after quitting the government, Singhvi said, “The great urge of the author to put out in public space his private conversations with the Prime Minister is matched by an even greater desire to keep confabulations with leading lights of the opposition in the last six years private.”
Responding to a question on allegations of two power centres (PMO and Congress president Sonia Gandhi), Singhvi said, “For the first time, there was an ideal division of labour, and there was perfect harmonization between 10 Janpath and 7 RCR… Both the government and the party remained strong, powerful and vigorous… The fact that this was the first post-Nehru government to complete 10 full years invalidates the BJP’s and Baru’s claims.” He took a dig at the BJP and said they remain “remote controlled from Nagpur (RSS headquarters)”.
BJP tries to corner govt over Baru revelations
A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s former media adviser Sanjaya Baru’s book created a storm over the disclosures about the working relation between the PM and Sonia Gandhi, the BJP on Saturday sought to corner the government, demanding clarification over a bunch of crucial issues.
“Were cabinet files shared with Smt. Sonia Gandhi as is mentioned in the book?,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman asked at a press conference, adding, “Did the PM refuse to take daily briefings from the Intelligence agencies, the first PM to do so, if at all. Did this not have a bearing on our security situation?”
The BJP spokesperson also sought to corner the UPA leadership over its alleged secret deal with Pakistan mentioned in the book. “Was any deal on Siachen finalised by Smt. Sonia Gandhi, along with Gen. J.J. Singh?” she asked.
Sitharaman also sought to corner the PM over his handling of corruption cases against his ministerial colleagues. “Did the PM forfeit his prerogative to decide on who would be in his cabinet? Was A Raja appointed at the behest of Sonia Gandhi? Did the PM knowingly overlook corruption by his colleagues as alleged in the book. Did 2G, CWG and Coalgate happen because of this?”
She asked the Congress to reflect upon the disturbing revelations. “The BJP draws the attention of the Congress party to introspect on these issues. They need to answer the people of India on their failures in the past decade. The questions raised on failure to control prices, provide jobs, manage the economy etc. A constrictive and issue-based political discourse is the need of the hour. People of India need answer from the Congress,” Sitharaman said.