Hitting back at former Foreign Minister Natwar Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said on Thursday that she would write her own book which would reveal the “truth”.
“I will write my own book and then you will come to know everything. The only way truth will come out is if I write. I am serious about it and I will be writing,” Sonia told mediapersons at Parliament.
Sonia was referring to Singh’s claims in his autobiography, One Life is Not Enough, that she did not accept the Prime Minister’s post in 2004 following pressure from her son, Rahul, who feared for her life.
Stating that she had seen the assassinations of her mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi, and husband, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia said she was not hurt by Singh’s claims. “I am far from getting hurt from these things. These things do not affect me,” she said.
The Congress, meanwhile, criticised Singh for “betraying” Sonia. Coming out in her support, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh denied Singh’s claims that files from the PMO were sent to Sonia during the UPA regime. Recalling many such claims made by his former media adviser Sanjaya Baru in his book, the former PM said, “This is their way to market their product.”
He also said that “private conversations should not be made public for capital gains”.
Stating that he too was in the “thick of action” in 2004, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad denied that Rahul influenced Sonia’s decision to turn down the PM’s post.
“I don’t agree with that. I was in the thick of that. There were two-three others also. Maybe he attended one meeting. We attended dozens of meetings. The truth is that Sonia herself was very reluctant. She was not comfortable at all about becoming PM,” he said. Azad said Singh’s claims in his book was an act of betrayal and “in poor taste.”
The Congress said it “categorically denies all allegations, insinuations and innuendos” made by Singh, pointing out that Singh’s “outburst” after so many years of silence came after the change of government.
“We also note his repeated attempts to join the BJP and his son’s membership of that party for many years and his current MLA status. All these and many more admitted and objective facts tell their own tale, a tale which is very different from the tale which Singh promised to tell in his book,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
“It is highly regrettable that persons who have enjoyed high positions of power entrusted to them by the Congress party, persons who have been privy to delicate situations, to sensitive and confidential information, misuse and distort such confidentiality for commercial purposes, based purely on subjective assessments and outbursts based on imaginary and non-existent facts,” he said.