Natwar Singh the man that stood beside the UPA government through thick and thin, has now come out with perhaps a shocking critique of the Gandhi family. Singh’s autobiography One Life is Not Enough (published by Rupa) reportedly reveals a lot of information about the President of the Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi. His comments in an interview with senior journalist Karan Thapar about his soon to be released book has started a war of words between Natwar Singh and Sonia Gandhi. Gandhi has jumped to her defence saying that “I will write my own book, and then everyone with know the truth.” Why is it that the Congress leader is so upset with Singh's book? Here are six things that Natwar Singh reportedly reveals in his upcoming autobiography:
1) Sonia Gandhi: Fall of the Congress Party
According to reports, Singh in his five-page epilogue, criticises Sonia Gandhi for reducing Congress, one of the “greatest political parties” of the world into a humiliating hindquarters of just 44 members in the Lok Sabha.
2) Sonia Gandhi: “authoritarian” and “capricious” to “Machiavellian” and “secretive”
Natwar Singh describes the growth of Sonia Gandhi in an entire chapter where he describes her transformation from being a nervous and shy woman to becoming authoritarian in her leadership and extremely secretive in her approach. Commenting on her current role in politics, he even goes on to say that “her public image is not flattering”
3) 10 Janpath- Sonia Gandhi's residence, the real seat of power:
Extending the metaphor of Sonia Gandhi as a ruler in power, he claimed that her residence “10 Janpath” was the real seat of power and the centre from where she controlled the political actions of the UPA government.“Sonia very discreetly monitored the functioning of the most important ministries in the government, displaying a Machiavellian side to her character”
4) Secret access to confidential information:
Natwar Singh believes that there was perhaps a “mole” who existed in the Ministry of External affairs who gave Sonia false and confidential information. He traces this statement back to an incident in February 2005, when he accompanied Afghan President Hamid Karzai to Janpath. He got into a verbal argument with Sonia as she falsely accused him for getting involved in defence deals and had passed on files on some defence deals to Pranab Mukherjee, the defence minister at that point.
5) General Elections 2004: The truth behind turning down the post of Prime Minister
Singh says that “it was not her inner soul” but Rahul Gandhi who asked her to turn down the post of Prime Minister in the general elections of 2004. Rahul feared that his mother's fate would end up like that of his father and grandmother. “Rahul said he was prepared to take any possible step… Rahul is a strong-willed person; this was no ordinary threat,” Natwar writes.
6) PV Narasimha Rao: The second choice
Natwar claims that it was then Vice President Shankar Dayal Sharma who was the first choice as Prime Minister in 1991, however due to his poor health, he declined the offer. Thus, Sonia chose PV Narasimha Rao.
Natwar Singh served as the foreign minister in 2004-2005 but had to resign from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-I Government in 2005 in the wake of the Iraqi food-for-oil scam. His autobiography called One Life is Not Enough: An Autobiography is slated to be released soon.