Nobody would have been interested in book post-polls: Baru

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Manmohan Singh
Mumbai, May 7: Journalist and former media advisor to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sanjaya Baru today said he was advised to release his book before the general elections as it would not have any significance later.

"A lot of my friends whom I consulted told me that Manmohan Singh will be history after the elections. Nobody will be interested in him then," Baru said, at the launch of the book "The Accidental Prime Minister" here this evening.

To a question, Baru said that former Prime Minister Narsimha Rao "believed that Congress should have a life beyond the (Gandhi) family" which "went against him" (in the eyes of Congress president Sonia Gandhi).

"I feel Narsimha Rao deserved a memorial in Delhi. It was a vendetta against him," Baru added. He also said Sonia Gandhi did not become Prime Minister (in 2004) as Congress's allies would have never accepted her, so she chose Dr Manmohan Singh.

"She couldn't make another political person the Prime Minister because she had burnt her fingers with Narsimha Rao," Baru added. When asked if he would take up a job in the Prime Minister's Office if offered by (BJP's PM candidate) Narendra Modi, Baru said,

"There is no way I will go back to politics. I have no political ambitions but will keep writing books. I have never gone back to a job I have left. It would be insulting for me." To the question why Manmohan Singh did not take a stand against the wrongdoings on his watch, as he took one in the case of Indo-US nuclear deal, Baru said his (Dr Singh's) legacy was at stake on the nuclear deal, while it was not the same case on other issues.

"Indo-US deal was approved by the Cabinet and India's reputation was at stake then. None would have taken India seriously had that deal not gone through. Singh viewed that it was only this decision for which he would be remembered," Baru said. He also commented that business was not the focus in UPA-1. "India was growing at average of 8.5 per cent for 6 years and hence business and industries was not the focus of the Prime Minister." Baru also maintained that though Singh himself once called himself "accidental PM", "I believed otherwise. In my book, I have been a strong defendant of Singh."

PTI

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