10:36 am - Sunday November 8, 2015

Rahul stopped Sonia from becoming PM: Natwar

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Congress president Sonia Gandhi declined to become Prime Minister in 2004 because of strong opposition from her son, Rahul Gandhi, who was afraid she would be killed like his father and grandmother, former External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh said on Wednesday.

Mr. Singh (83), an estranged Gandhi family friend who quit the Congress in 2008, claimed that it was not Ms. Gandhi’s “inner voice” that prevented her, as she had stated at the time, from taking up the post.

To persuade him from not referring to this particular episode in his autobiography, the Congress president along with her daughter Priyanka Gandhi met him on May 7 at his residence but he decided to tell the “truth,” Mr. Singh said in an interview to Karan Thapar on Headlines Today. The book, One Life is Not Enough: An Autobiography, is due to be released soon.

“Rahul was totally against her mother becoming the Prime Minister. He said she would be killed like his father and grandmother and as a son he would not allow her to become the PM,” Mr. Singh said, recalling a May 18, 2004 meeting in which Manmohan Singh, Gandhi family friend Suman Dubey, Priyanka and he were present.

The Congress described as “politically motivated” the claim of Mr. Singh. “His recent remarks in a TV interview appear to be politically motivated and aimed at seeking publicity for the sale of his book,” party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.Party general secretary Ajay Maken dismissed as “ridiculous” the claim of Dr. Singh.

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