Confirming the revelations by former Congressman Natwar Singh, senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar today accepted that in 2004 Rahul Gandhi prevented his mother Sonia Gandhi from accepting the prime ministership because he was scared she would be killed. Talking to a TV channel, Mr Aiyar, whilst not questioning the veracity of Mr Singh’s revelations,said this is only part of the truth and not the full truth.
Speaking to Karan Thapar on the programme ‘Nothing But The Truth’ on Headlines Today, Mr Aiyar accepted that Mr Singh is telling the truth when he says that in 2004 Rahul Gandhi prevented his mother from accepting the prime ministership because he was scared she would be killed.
At the same time, Mr Aiyar says that whilst he doesn’t question the veracity of Mr Singh’s revelations, this is only part of the truth and not the full truth. There are bound to be other elements and aspects that would have also influenced Sonia Gandhi’s decision, Mr Aiyar told the channel in the interview, to be broadcast today at 2000 hrs and again tomorrow at 1030 hrs and 2030 hrs. In the interview, Mr Aiyar also confirmed that the then Minister of State for Defence, Arun Singh, and then Army Chief, Gen Sundarji, had kept Rajiv Gandhi in the dark about the implementation of Operation Brasstacks and, as a result, although Rajiv Gandhi was both Prime Minister and Defence Minister at the time, he had no knowledge of how Operation Brasstacks was being implemented. Speaking to the channel, Mr Aiyar also, confirmed another important revelation by Mr Singh i e the claim that days after Rajiv Gandhi’s death Sonia Gandhi had suggested that Shankar Dayal Sharma, then Vice-President, should become Congress President.
Mr Aiyar said that Shankar Dayal Sharma had said this to him in one of their meetings.
When pointed out that what Mr Aiyar was saying was very different from the spokespersons of the Congress Party who have questioned the veracity of Mr Singh’s revelations, Mr Aiyar said he is not a party spokesman and is speaking simply as an individual. Mr Aiyar’s comments come close on the heels of certain revelations made by former foreign affairs Minister Natwar Singh in recent interviews. The Congress party has , however, dismissed the claims by Mr Singh with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh terming them as a marketing gimmick. In the interview, Mr Aiyar also recounted a story about how Rajiv Gandhi said to him that India was on the point of going to war with Pakistan without the Prime Minister knowing this was happening. The Congress leader revealed that he gave Rajiv Gandhi advice on how to recover the lost ground and make up relations with Gen. Zia and Pakistan. He gave Rajiv Gandhi three options of which Rajiv accepted one which Mani thought was the least likely to be accepted.
Rajiv, on Mani’s advice, invited Zia for lunch in Delhi and the problem created by Operation Brasstacks was quickly sorted out.
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