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Sanjaya Baru’s book confirms what we have been saying all along about so-called ‘Sikh PM’ of India: Sikh Federation UK

April 13, 2014 | By

London, United Kingdom (April 13, 2014): Last week Sanjaya Baru a former adviser to Manmohan Singh released a book called “The Accidental Prime Minister” where he claims that Manmohan Singh allowed Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to undermine his authority. What Sanjaya Baru has confirmed is what Sikhs already knew and others ignored, but it is important as he is an insider.

Sanjaya Baru’s memoirs show the Prime Minister as subservient to a woman without an official government position. “You must understand one thing. I have come to terms with this,” Baru recalled the Prime Minister telling him in 2009.

“There cannot be two centres of power. That creates confusion. I have to accept that the party president is the centre of power. The government is answerable to the party.”

Acc PM“The public perception . . . through unquestioning submissiveness lies at the heart of the image problem that came to haunt Dr. Singh,” Baru said in his book.

Baru states Manmohan Singh confessed when he became Prime Minister that he was not prepared for the role. He said Manmohan Singh’s failure to assert himself after the Congress party was re-elected in 2009 has proved to be a fatal flaw that weakened his authority and left him “in office” with some authority but not “in power”.

He said that Singh conceded most of his turf as Prime Minister to Sonia Gandhi and senior cabinet ministers.

“The politically fatal combination of responsibility without power and governance without authority meant that Dr. Singh was unable, even when he was aware, of checking corruption in his ministry without disturbing the political arrangement over which he nominally presided,” Baru wrote.

The Prime Minister’s Office has tried to denounce the book saying it was misuse of a privileged position and access to high office. But the fact is Baru’s book carries more credibility than the PMO’s denial. In fact, the PMO’s denial is effectively Sonia’s denial, since the ring around Manmohan Singh comprises not his own people, but Sonia’s. Baru claims that Sonia Gandhi decided key appointments to the Cabinet and to the PMO.

“Pulok Chatterjee, the Principal Secretary, who was inducted into the Manmohan Singh’s PMO at the behest of Sonia Gandhi, had regular, almost daily, meetings with Sonia at which he was said to brief her on the key policy issues of the day and seek her instructions on important files to be cleared by the PM,” Dr Baru writes in the 201-page book.

Baru’s book effectively paints the picture that Sonia Gandhi as almost directly controlling the PMO. Files were being routinely shared by Sonia Gandhi through the Pulok Chatterjee route – making a mockery of the cabinet system and the oath of secrecy administered to the PM. How can someone not in government be privy to highly confidential files?

Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:

‘For the last 10 years while Manmohan Singh has been the Indian Prime Minister many, including politicians across the globe, have often pointed to this simple fact to indicate progress as far as the Sikhs were concerned. We have been saying he is a puppet without any power and has been used to try and undermine the Sikh freedom movement. Sanjaya Baru’s book confirms what we have been saying all along.’

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