Manmohan Singh’s book to give a ‘true account of what happened in the UPA govt’: sources

Singh’s book may rattle the Congress leadership, which has already been embarrassed by Natwar Singh’s book.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: October 5, 2014 11:15 am
Rai also blamed Singh for inaction in putting in place an auction system for coal block allocation. (Source: PTI) Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. (Source: PTI)

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is writing a book that will attempt to “leave a historic chronicle of contemporary lives”.

The book, which he started writing in 2008, will keep aside few chapters to give an “honest account” of what transpired between his office and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, sources said. Singh’s first term as PM ended in 2009.

The recurrent criticism against him that he was a weak prime minister who failed to control his ministers has given him a reason to “give a true account of what happened in the UPA government”, the sources added.

Singh’s book may further rattle the Congress leadership, which has already been embarrassed by former party leader K Natwar Singh’s tell-all One Life is Not Enough. Natwar Singh’s book talked about the inner workings of the Congress and his relation with the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Former PMO media advisor Sanjaya Baru’s book, The Accidental Prime Minister, also caused much furore with its claim that Sonia had superseded Singh’s authority.

Singh, who, according to one of his close friends, is currently in an “activist” mode, has expedited the work on his book after former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai’s book attacked him for his role in the 2G spectrum and coal block allocations cases.

According to sources, Singh had already collected all the communication between him, his office and key ministers before the UPA’s second term was over this year. “Now he has given directions for the creation of a website to put up all the communication between the PMO and ministers on controversial issues such as the allocation of telecom licences and coal blocks,” said sources.

Tweets from the then PMO, considered to be the social voice for the latter part of his second term, have already been archived.

Initially, one of Singh’s close associates assisted him in compiling the documents, double-checking the facts and even helping him edit. But Singh took back all the material from the aide after he returned from the US in 2013. Sources said Singh has recently taken some tips from his former colleague Natwar Singh in finalising his book.

Singh felt that he should write down his experiences as the prime minister and his relation with the party chief immediately after his government decided to sign the Indo-US nuclear deal. The decision to sign the deal seemed to have created a rift between him and the party leadership and also broke the UPA’s ties with Left parties in 2008, leading to a trust vote in July that year.

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