Chavan was disloyal to PM: Baru

Chavan was disloyal to PM: Baru

Chavan was disloyal to PM: Baru

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan was "disloyal" to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he credited the Congress election victory in 2009 to Rahul Gandhi instead of Singh, according to Sanjaya Baru, former media advisor to the PM.

Speaking at an event to launch his book ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ here last night, he said in 2009, when the Congress won the general elections Singh believed it to be his victory.

Baru, who was Singh's media advisor from 2004 to 2008, said he had also felt it that way.

But when he was watching a panel discussion on TV about whether it was Sonia Gandhi's victory or Manmohan Singh's victory, Chavan who was in the PMO then, suddenly came out and said it was Rahul Gandhi's victory.

"I was sitting there and watching this and I thought this fellow had got his job because of Manmohan Singh, 'kya gaddar hai ye' (how disloyal is he)," Baru said.

Baru said he had long believed that Singh should have quit his position as the Prime Minister, though he never expressed it publicly.

"My own view was that he (Singh) should have quit. But I never said it publicly. Whenever I used to meet him, I used to tell him how long do you want to suffer ? Please go. Finally, when Rahul Gandhi went on TV and said the Cabinet decision to allow convicted persons to contest elections was nonsense, I went on TV and said Singh should quit.

"I even got an SMS from his daughter saying I agree with you," Baru said while refraining from naming which of the PM's daughters sent him the message.

He said the victory of Congress in 2009 was not due the MGNREGA Act but because of urban voters that supported it.

"In states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh. But they had all voted against the Congress. Then where did the Congress pick up? It were places like Coimbatore, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai, which are all urban centres, that had votes for the Congress," Baru said.

"It was the middle class in urban states that were happy with the Congress then, thus Congress benefited from the urban votes. Even cities like Kanpur, Allahabad and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh had voted for the Congress," he added.

Baru had stirred up a controversy recently when he launched his tell-all memoir about his time at the PMO.The PMO had denounced the book as a work of fiction.