PMO Lambasts Sanjaya Baru's Tell-all Memoir
Just two days after the release of the tell-all memoir of its former media adviser, the Prime Minister’s Office has lambasted the contention in the book that Congress chief Sonia Gandhi undermined any decision-making by Manmohan Singh, as “baseless” and “smacks of fiction”.
“The statement being attributed to a former media adviser to the Prime Minister that the PMO files were seen by the Congress president is completely baseless and mischievous. It is categorically denied that any PMO file has ever been shown to Sonia,” said a statement issued by PMO spokesperson Pankaj Pachauri.
In his book “Accidental Prime Minister - The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh,” Sanjaya Baru, who was the PM’s media adviser during 2004-08, had claimed that main officials in PM’s office were chosen by Sonia Gandhi, overriding names given by Manmohan. About the principal secretary to the PM, Baru writes: “Pulok (Chatterjee), who was inducted into the Manmohan Singh 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.”
The PMO’s statement dismissed these claims, “The book is an attempt to misuse a privileged position and access to high office to gain credibility and to apparently exploit it for commercial gain. The commentary smacks of fiction and coloured views of a former adviser.” It also indicated that the PM was aware that Baru would be making such claims. “The question about comments was raised by senior editors when they met the PM in October last year. His answer was - Do not believe all he is saying.”