Sonia bid to defuse Natwar bomb

She too will write a book and reveal the truth

New Delhi

The Congress is making a concerted bid to defuse the book-bomb that has been dropped on it by one of its erstwhile loyalist former union minister Natwar Singh without getting into the specifics of the revelations made by him.

Leading the counter attack, Congress President Sonia Gandhi came out with an announcement that she is writing her own book. ‘‘The only way the truth will come out is if I write. I am serious about this,” she said while taking to a news channel in the Parliament building.

In an interview before the publication of his autobiography, “One life is not enough,” Singh had levelled several charges against her and observed that now she cannot hide. Responding to all the barbs, the Congress president said that she was used to such attacks. “I can’t be hurt, I have seen my mother-in-law riddled by bullets, my husband dead…I am far from getting hurt with these things…Let them continue to do this, it will not affect me…They can continue to do this if they so please,” she said.

Singh’s key revelations being that in 2004

Sonia Gandhi did not become the prime minister as her son Rahul feared that she could be killed like her mother-in-law and her husband, and that she had access to official files from the prime minister’s office.

Sonia also got support from former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who refuted the allegation that official files were sent to her. Describing the former external affairs minister’s interview as a ‘publicity gimmick”, the former prime minister also advised him that conversations that take place in private should not be used for commercial purposes.

Indeed, all Congress leaders who reacted to Singh’s revelations and allegations found some motive in his action. Senior leader Digvijay Singh observed that it did not matter as to whether Sonia Gandhi did not accept the prime minister’s post because she listened to her son Rahul Gandhi or due to some other reason. ”What matters is that she did not become the PM when she could have,” he said.

In its official reaction, the Congress party denied the substance of all the allegations. “At this stage, we are not dissecting the details. We have not yet the seen the book, but then we deny all the insinuations and innuendoes,” said party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

He said it speaks volumes for those persons who decide to come out with a story that for many long years they have enjoyed power and patronage due to their membership of the party.” He remained quiet all these years and he has chosen to speak now that the Congress is no longer in power,” Singhvi added.

The same sentiment was echoed by the former union minister and NCP leader Tariq Anwar who questioned the timing of Natwar Singh’s book. ‘‘He should have come out with the book when the UPA was in power,” said Anwar. The BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain called the book as well Singh’s interview as an eye-opener. “The book shows that for ten years the real power vested with the mother-son duo and Manmohan Singh was just the face of the government,” he added.

The book is reportedly doing good business in its pre-publication phase via on-line websites, and is slated for release on August 7.

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