'Arjun Singh wanted Sonia, not Rajiv Gandhi as PM'

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Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, Jul 8: The veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar once again has come up with another controversial statement in his autobiography, "Beyond the Lines". This time Mr Nayar claimed that Arjun Singh insisted that Sonia Gandhi and not Rajiv Gandhi should be the Prime Minister of India.

According to the book, post Indira Gandhi assassination, "Arjun Singh was on a different wicket. He insisted on having Sonia Gandhi as prime minister."

Pranab Mukherjee and Arjun Singh were two hindrances for Rajiv Gandhi as both of them had raised objections against Congress Working Committee's (CWC) decision of making Rajiv Gandhi the successor of Indira Gandhi, said the book.

Nayar in his memoir wrote, "Pranab Mukherjee said the senior-most person should be the officiating prime minister till Rajiv Gandhi was formally elected by the Congress Parliamentary Party."

"Rajiv Gandhi understandably did not include Mukherjee in the government he constituted. Soon he (Rajiv) resigned from prime ministership to hold early general election," added Nayar.

Earlier media reports highlighted a different chapter of Nayar's memoir which claimed that the late prime minister PV Narasimha Rao had started a pooja when "kar sevaks began pulling Babri Masjid down and rose only when it was over."

Mr Nayar in his autobiography hurled shocking allegation against the former prime minister saying, "My information was that Rao had connived at the demolition. He sat at puja when the kar sevaks began pulling down the mosque and rose only when the last stone had been removed."

However, such allegations enraged Narasimha Rao's son PV Ranga Rao who overruled all allegations raised against his father by Mr Nayar.

Arjun Singh was a minister in the Narasimha Rao cabinet but he resigned after the Babri Masjid demolition. Singh was the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh when the deadly gas leak from the Union Carbide factory occurred in 1984.

According to sources, the pilot of the aircraft in which the main accused of the gas tragedy Warren Anderson flew out of India after the gas leak, has recorded that the final sanction to permit the flight came from Arjun Singh's office.

OneIndia News

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