Former editor and the Prime Minister’s former media advisor Sanjaya Baru, in his book “The Accidental Prime Minister” has revealed something that has rattled the top leadership of the Congress party, especially Sonia Gandhi.
PMO Denies Sanjay Baru Revelations in New Book ‘Accidental Prime Minister’
In a strong refutation of the charges levelled by the former media man, the PMO current media adviser Pankaj Pachauri said, “Baru has taken advantage of his former position. He has fabricated a lot of issues in his book. In a press meeting last October, the PM himself had warned that Baru should not be believed.”
Baru, a well-known figure in the media circles for over four decades, wrote in his book that PM Manmohan Singh had surrendered to pressure from Congress president Sonia Gandhi and allies, especially the DMK.
Though Baru has written nothing new about the curtailed powers of the Prime Minister, his revelations that in his second term the PM was prevailed upon on deciding many appointments, including his cabinet members.
Baru, who served as PM’s Media Advisor between 2004 and 2008, recollected when Dr. Manmohan Singh 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 301-page book, published by Penguin, elaborated the scenario when the UPA government was pushed into an electoral victory in 2009. Baru said the PM, for a brief period, was under “the cardinal mistake of imagining the victory was his… 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.”
Against his own preference for his former RBI aide C. Rangarajan, the prime minister was advised against appointing him but was forced to take DMK’s A. Raja into the cabinet at the insistence of an ally DMK. Though the book has revealed what was going on and known among the power circles, the instances do give insight into the happenings and power play in New Delhi.