Pankaj Pachauri defends Manmohan Singh's 'silence' on Sanjay Baru's book
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's media advisor Pankaj Pachauri on Friday defended Dr. Singh silence on the controversial book of his former media advisor Sanjay Baru, saying that the PMO, his family and the Congress Party had made statements, and there was nothing new to say anymore on it.
"The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has issued two statements relating to this book. Even his family has made their viewpoint public. The party he belongs to has made a long and considered statement. I don't think there is anything new to say," said Pachauri in response to a question regarding the prime minister's silence on Baru's book, "The Accidental Prime Minister".
Baru stirred a controversy through his controversial book, in which he claimed that Dr. Singh's authority was repeatedly undermined by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Baru has reportedly quoted Dr. Singh as telling him that, "there cannot be two centers 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."
On lack of interaction between the PM and the media, Pachauri said, "The Prime Minister has not talked too much about politics, entertainment and sports. He has always preferred to talk about politics only on the floor of the house. In the last five years, there has not been much scope for the PM to speak in Parliament."
"It is not that he is not been talking but the kind of media mix, his message is not as strong it should have been. In the last 10 years, he has given atleast one speech in every three days. His total speeches are over thousand," he added.
"The India we are seeing today, almost half of it, was achieved during last ten years, " Pachuri said.
He asserted that the kind of economic growth that India has experienced and enjoyed in the last ten years has not been witnessed in any other country.
"The kind of fight against poverty this government has waged, has not been seen in the history of mankind. Around 140 million have come out of poverty in last ten years. There was a threefold increase in our per capita income," he added.
The clarifications come as the BJP is projecting its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as a dynamic leader who can revive India's economy and create jobs. The Congress is being led by Rahul Gandhi, the party's young vice-president whose mother Sonia is president.
In the last two weeks, two books by former insiders in the PM's administration have offered damning accounts of Manmohan Singh's leadership.
Sanjaya Baru, a former media adviser, has suggested in his book that the PM was an ineffective leader whose authority was repeatedly undermined by Mrs Gandhi, who called the shots.
P C Parakh, former Coal Secretary, has said that the PM failed to take on vested interests which allowed a massive swindle embedded in coal licenses, which were allocated without a transparent bidding process.
(Posted on 18-04-2014)