"I had heard about remote-controlled governments, but the remote was running the government. This was revealed only yesterday after the book was released," Modi said addressing an election rally in Banswara in Rajasthan, referring to the book by Sanjaya Baru released on Friday.
Attacking Sonia for making appointments and transfers in the government, the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate said "offices were distributed by Madam Sonia. Transfers and appointments were being made by Madam Sonia." Getting fresh ammunition from the book, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad in Ahmedabad accused Sonia and Rahul Gandhi of having "deliberately compromised the dignity of PMO".
"The mother-son duo (Sonia & Rahul) deliberately compromised the dignity of the office of Prime Minister so they could rule without being held accountable," he alleged.
"PM's former media advisor Sanjay Baru's book says if Manmohan Singh wanted to do some good work, there was pressure on him to give credit for it to Rahul Gandhi. Congress people must react on this," he said.
BJP Spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman also made a five-point poser to the Prime Minister and Sonia questioning them whether Cabinet files were shared with Gandhi and if Singh forefeited his prerogative to decide his cabinet as alluded to by Baru.
Questioning Sonia, she asked if cabinet files were shared with her as mentioned in the book and if there was a deal on Siachen by Gandhi along with Gen J J Singh, the former Army Chief.
Posing a question to Manmohan Singh, she said, "did the PM refuse to take daily briefings from intelligence agencies and did this not have a bearing on our security situation?" "Did the PM forefeit his prerogative to decide on who would be in his cabinet? Was the '2G fame' A Raja appointed at the behest of Sonia Gandhi? Did the PM knowingly overlook corruption by his colleagues as alleged in the book. Did 2G, CWG and Coalgate happen because of this?," Sitharaman asked.
"BJP draws the attention of Congress party to introspect on these issues. They need to answer the people of India on their failures in the past decades. The questions raised relate to failure to control prices, provide jobs, manage the economy. A constructive and issue-based political discourse is the need of the hour. People of India need an answer from Congress," she said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said, "Baru has written it obviously to record his memoirs as he saw it in his position. But the timing is very critical." "I will not accuse him (Baru) of having a political motive, but commercial motive, certainly," Chavan said.