Thursday, May 13, 2021
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PM surrendered before Sonia, allies, says his ex-advisor

A book by a former advisor to the Prime Minister, Sanjaya Baru has ruffled the feathers in the top echelons of the Congress. Baru, in his book ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’, has written that PM Manmohan Singh surrendered to pressure from Congress president Sonia Gandhi and allies.
Baru has written that Singh was “defanged” by the Congress in his second term with Sonia Gandhi deciding on key appointments to the Cabinet and to the PMO, as he seemed to “surrender” to her and to the allies.
The PMO was quick to hit back, saying Baru was writing fiction for commercial gains. The PMO accused him of taking advantage of his access to the PMO for his own benefit.
Baru, a senior editor and PM’s Media Adviser between 2004 and 2008, quotes Singh as having told him that there cannot be two centres of power. “That creates confusion. I have to accept that the party president is the centre of power. The government is answerable to the party,” the PM told him, according to the 301-page book, published by Penguin.
Baru writes that after he had led the Congress party to electoral victory in 2009, Singh had made “the cardinal mistake of imagining the victory was his”. He may have convinced himself that his performance and destiny had again made him the PM, and not Sonia.
“Bit by bit, in the space of a few weeks he was defanged. He thought he could induct the ministers he wanted into his team. Sonia nipped that hope in the bud by offering the finance portfolio to Pranab (Mukherjee), without even consulting him,” Baru writes.

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