The Congress has described the claims made by Natwar Singh as “ridiculous”. This was after Natwar Wednesday appeared in an interview to Karan Thapar on Headlines Today and described some of the contents, including his account of Rahul Gandhi supposedly prevailing on Sonia Gandhi not to take over as PM in 2004 because he feared for her life. The Congress accused him of “seeking publicity”.
The Congress pointed out that Natwar Singh had an “unceremonious exit” from UPA I and was suspended from the party after the oil-for-food scandal. The Congress, however, did not get into specifics or rebut his claims point by point.
“I would like to say that when people have been close to each other, have shared political experiences with each other and then for some reason or other have gone on different roads, I don’t think it behoves the person of any stature to make comments which look like spilling the beans or look as if they are telling things which are a secret. It is not done like that,” said AICC general secretary Ambika Soni.
General secretary Ajay Maken said, “It is ridiculous. These days it has become fashionable to sensationalise the contents of a book with the sole aim of ensuring better sales and free publicity. This is yet another such exercise. Any comment on it will be a futile exercise.”
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “Natwar Singh had an unceremonious exit from the UPA government after the Volcker Committee report on the oil-for-food scandal in 2005. He was later suspended from the Congress. His recent remarks in a TV interview appear to be politically motivated and aimed at seeking publicity for the sale of his book,” Singhvi said.
BJP leaders Prabhat Jha, Shahnawaz Hussain and Krishnapal Gujar also addressed a number of rallies.