Friday, Oct 24, 2014

After Sanjay Baru, former coal secretary Parakh’s book embarrasses PM; ‘Singh had little political authority’

Manmohan Singh. (IE Photo) Manmohan Singh. (IE Photo)
Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Posted: April 14, 2014 9:17 am | Updated: April 14, 2014 9:34 am

At a time when his former media advisor’s book has created political ripples, former Coal secretary P C Parakh has embarrassed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by saying that he was heading a government in which he had “little” political authority.

In his book “Crusader or Conspirator? Coalgate and other Truths” to be released on Monday, Parakh, who retired as Coal secretary in December 2005, recalled an incident when he had gone to meet the Prime Minister on a farewell call after submitting his resignation to the then Cabinet Secretary B K Chaturvedi.

The 68-year-old author said in his book that he had submitted his resignation after BJP MP Dharmendra Pradhan had insulted him during a Parliamentary Standing Committee meeting and no response coming from the government.

“On August 17, 2005 I met the Prime Minister for a farewell call. I wanted to express my concern at the insult and humiliation that members of Parliament heap on civil servants and senior executives of public service undertakings,” he said in his book published by Manas publications.

Parakh, against whom the CBI has registered a case in coal block allocation, said the Prime Minister expressed anguish and stated that “he (Singh) faced similar problems everyday. But it would not be in the national interest if he was to offer his resignation on every such issue.”

“I do not know if the country would have got a better Prime Minister if Dr Manmohan Singh had resigned, instead of facing the humiliation of his own ministers not implementing or reversing his decision.

“By continuing to head a government in which he had little political authority, his image has been seriously dented by 2G scam and coalgate although he has had a spotless record of personal integrity,” the author observed.

Parakh while referring to the conversation with Singh said it had become clear that there was little chance of lasting reform in the coal sector with the limitations within which the Prime Minister functioned.

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