Baru's book confirms what was suspected: Arun Jaitley
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley on Sunday said Sanjaya Baru's book 'The Accidental Prime Minister' only confirms what the country ordinarily suspected.
"Dr.Sanjay Baru's book 'The Accidental Prime Minister' only confirms what the country ordinarily suspected," Jaitley wrote in his blog.
He said PM Manmohan Singh only approved those decisions which were ratified by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
"The Prime Minister has to take most of its decisions approved and ratified from the Congress President. All sensitive subjects have to be discussed with the person outside the government. The appointments of key officials would be regulated by 10 Janpath. Contracts such as the coal blocks allocations were allotted by the party. Even the venue for the funeral of former Prime Minister P.V.Narsimha Rao was decided on collateral considerations rather than the based on desire of the family," the BJP leader wrote.
"In a parliamentary democracy, the party system is an essential requirement. However, the accountability in democracy is of the elected representatives and not of the party office-bearers. It is the Prime Minister and his council of Ministers, which, through the parliament are accountable to the people. Amongst various institutions which have been dwarfed in the UPA regime, the principal one was the office of the Prime Minister itself. Dr.Baru's book confirms this," his blog read.
Jaitley said Singh should introspect as to how his tenure impacted on the institution of Prime Minister.
"Prime Ministers are known not by the number of years they have spent in office, but by the footprints they leave behind. The Prime Ministership is not an employment. It is public service and an exercise by which the leadership is provided to the people. On the eve of relinquishing the office, Dr. Manmohan Singh must seriously introspect as to how his tenure impacted on the institution of Prime Minister. Did he have the last word on all subjects? Or is it the system of the original Communist states that was operating, where the party General Secretary was always more important than the Head of the Government," the blog read.
Pertinently, Baru is under political fire for his book 'The Accidental Prime Minister', where he wrote that Singh was "defanged" by the Congress in his second term, with Sonia deciding over key appointments to the Cabinet and to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
In his book 'The Accidental Prime Minister', Baru also wrote that Singh seemed to "surrender" to her and to the allies.
"Bit by bit, in the space of a few weeks he was defanged. He thought he could induct the ministers he wanted into his team. Sonia nipped that hope in the bud by offering the finance portfolio to Pranab (Mukherjee), without even consulting him," Baru has written in the book.
Baru has also quoted the PM in page number 301 of the book, published by Penguin, as telling him: "That creates confusion. I have to accept that the party president is the centre of power. The government is answerable to the party."
In 2004, Sanjaya Baru left a career as chief editor of the Financial Express to join Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as his media adviser in United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
(Posted on 13-04-2014)