“The only way the truth will come out is if I write. I am serious about this,” said the 67-year-old Congress president.
Mr Singh had in an interview alleged that Mrs Gandhi’s decision to not take up the post of Prime Minister in 2004 was not because of an “inner voice” as she had famously said, but because of opposition from her son Rahul Gandhi, who was reportedly worried that she would be assassinated like his father Rajiv Gandhi and grandmother, Indira Gandhi, both former Prime Ministers.
In his book, Mr Singh describes Mrs Gandhi as “authoritarian” and “Machiavellian.”
Sonia Gandhi said today that she was used to such attacks. “I can’t be hurt, I have seen my mother-in-law riddled by bullets, my husband dead…I am far from getting hurt with these things…Let them continue to do this it will not affect me…They can continue to do this if they so please,” she said.
Earlier this year, Sanjaya Baru, a former adviser to Dr Manmohan Singh when he was prime minister, had in a book alleged that Mrs Gandhi interfered inordinately in the Congress-led UPA government’s affairs. Mr Baru’s book had handed the BJP much-needed political ammunition against the Congress just before the general elections.
Natwar Singh, 83, seen as close to the Gandhi family for many years, was a senior Cabinet minister when he had to resign from the Congress-led coalition government in 2005 after allegations of corruption. He quit the party in 2008.
The Congress has dismissed Mr Singh’s comments about Mrs Gandhi as “ridiculous.” Spokesperson Ajay Maken accused Mr Singh of trying to sell more copies of his book by “sensationalising its contents.”
The BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain said, “Sonia Gandhi ji does not have the answer to Natwar ji’s questions.”