As excerpts from Margaret Alva’s book ‘Courage and Commitment – An Autobiography’ are making headlines, one after another, the fears of millions of Bharatiya citizens are coming true – that Sonia Gandhi functions in an absolutely arbitrary manner and supports corrupt, anti-national activities and nexuses. Alva is not the first to spill the beans on the political mafia kind of management that Sonia has adopted. Tavleen Singh, Sanjaya Baru, Natwar Singh, Jayanti Natarajan, Vinay Sitapati have all come out with similar accounts.
Complete Subservience – the Congress code
In 2008, Alva said that Congress seats for the elections in Karnataka were open to bidders rather than subject to meritocratic appointment. Congress denied her claims and a meeting with the party president, Sonia Gandhi resulted in Alva’s expulsion from her numerous official responsibilities. AK Antony seemed to have a hand in her expulsion as per what she claims.
Quoting a news piece :
“Alva reproduces in her autobiography, a letter she had written when she was asked to resign from the post of All India Congress Committee General Secretary, sometime in 2009.
She writes: “Times have changed and for the first time I have come to feel like a misfit in an organisation that I considered as precious as my own home. A look at our recent candidates lists show a distinct pattern of patronages to the wealthy and rich lobbies like mining, education and real-estate…
It is hard to function through intermediaries because we never seem to know when and which message is yours and what you want done. I have now come to realize that I am out of tune with the decision-makers around you.”
She further writes about how a call from Sonia lasting a few seconds sealed her fate, and marked her exit from Delhi, something she claimed her opponents within the party wanted all along. She was made the Governor of Uttarakhand, without her consent”.
Alva’s Book also reveals that Gandhis had connections with Christian Michel’s father Wolfgang, as per this report. Christian Michel is the main middleman in the controversial Rs 3600 crore Agusta Westland VVIP chopper scam.
According to Alva’s autobiography, the case dates back to 1980s while Sanjay Gandhi was alive. Quoting the news report:
It was known as the tank scam where Sanjay Gandhi and CPN Singh had allegedly connived to sell second hand Indian army tanks to SA. CPN Singh, who was a known key aide and confidante of Sanjay Gandhi, was removed from his position because of Alva’s allegations then. Moreover, Alva in her autobiography has alleged that she was being targeted by CPN Singh as she was about to blow the lid off his connections with Michel.”
Alva’s book also quotes Sonia as saying during PV Narasimha Rao government, “What has the Congress government done for me? This house was allotted to me by the Chandra Shekhar government”.
Alva has worked with Congress for 45 years, and one bout of candid feedback marked her expulsion from all party positions. She also accused her boss Sonia Gandhi of running the party “arbitrarily”.
“The decision making in the Congress is very centralised,” Alva said on a TV show.
Sonia, the vengeful
Tavleen Singh has also written 2 books, ‘Durbar’ and her latest ‘India’s Broken Tryst’ which throws a lot of light on Lutyen’s lifestyles and Sonia Gandhi. Tavleen Singh’s partner, Hindustan Construction Company’s MD, Ajit Gulabchand had to face the consequences for the journalist’s columns written against Sonia Gandhi.
The first chapter from the journalist’s recently released book describes how Sonia Gandhi used the Income Tax department and ED officials like ‘terrorists’ to settle her personal scores. “Come down at once, we work for the Government of India, we are from Enforcement Directorate,” they shouted like local thugs, says the author.
In an excerpt from Tavleen Singh’s latest book, she narrates how an ex UPA minister was abused and ill-treated by Sonia Gandhi for refusing to do favours to Sonia, her children and their friends, that were against the national interest.
In this interview, Tavleen says Sonia Gandhi has deliberately and cleverly made sure to deny access to media for questioning her on important issues and policies of INC. And this is a pertinent observation – despite being one of the most influential persons in the country for close to 20 years now, Sonia Gandhi has never faced any probing interview till date. This really calls into question the functioning of our media, one of the pillars of democracy.
Sonia’s name or that of her close relatives has come up many a time as recipients of bribes, kickbacks and corruption money – in Bofors, antiques smuggling, National Herald scam, Agusta Westland chopper scam, 2G, Coal-gate, Vadra-gate etc. But she has never been directly questioned on these cases by our media, and her political clout has ensured that she has escaped prosecution for the same.
The Real Prime Minister
The book ‘The Accidental Prime Minister‘ by policy analyst & top bureaucrat Sanjay Baru brought to the fore that Sonia and her son Rahul were the primary decision makers and Manmohan Singh was just a facade in the UPA government from 2004-2014. Baru mentions Singh explaining to him, “That creates confusion. I have to accept that the party President is the centre of power. The government is answerable to the party. “
The book suggests Sonia Gandhi’s hunger for power and money. It also raises questions if A Raja was appointed at the behest of Sonia Gandhi and if PM Manmohan knowingly overlooked corruption by his colleagues.
Authoritarian, Egoistic, Secretive
As per various reports, Natwar Singh’s autobiography One Life Is Not Enough sheds light on the authoritarian, egoistic and selfish behavior of Sonia Gandhi. Apart from her visible hostility to ex-PM PVN Rao, the book mentions certain important things about her like – any other leader in place of Sonia Gandhi would have been shown the door for incorrectly claiming that they have a majority in front of the President in 1999.
Another news report on Natwar Singh’s book reveals that he attributes the ‘fall of congress’ to Sonia Gandhi. According to Natwar Singh, Sonia Gandhi has been treated like royalty and has behaved like a prima donna. He describes her transformation from being a nervous and shy woman to becoming authoritarian in her leadership and extremely secretive in her approach. Her authority in the Congress party is more firm than that of Jawaharlal Nehru and every dissent in the party is smothered, he says. But beyond all the posturing, Sonia Gandhi is an ordinary and insecure person, he writes.
Use and Throw Policy
Jayanti Natarajan, the environment minister in UPA govt was ‘asked’ to resign in December 2013 by Sonia Gandhi. Her long letter addressed to Sonia clearly shows that Jayanti and her ministry were made a scapegoat and held responsible for the failure of economy at that time by Sonia and Rahul. It also seems that she was pressurized to speak against Narendra Modi on ‘Snoopgate’. Some excerpts from her letter :
” I would like to record, that I was carrying out my duties as Minister of State (I/C) Environment and Forests in the routine course, when suddenly that day on December 20, 2013, the then PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh summoned me to his office. When I entered he stood up from his chair, looking tense and grim, and uttered these exact words. He said “Jayanthi, I have been told by Congress President, that your services are required for party work.” I was puzzled, and I said, “Yes Sir. So what should I do?” He replied, “She wants you to resign.” I was shocked and said, “Resign Sir? But when?” He replied “Today.” I once again asked him if this was what the Congress president wished. He answered in the affirmative. Unsuspecting, and trusting you totally, I did not utter a single word, but smiled at him and said I would comply with the wishes of the Congress President.
The next day my resignation was headlines in the media, and all the initial reports correctly reported that I had stepped down for party work. By the afternoon, to my shock, I received information that persons from the office of Shri Rahul Gandhi were calling the media and planting stories that my resignation was NOT for party work.
The same day, namely, the day after I resigned, Shri Rahul Gandhi addressed a FICCI meeting of industrialists, where he made uncomplimentary references to delays in environmental clearances, and the adverse effects upon the economy, and assured the corporate world, that the party and government would henceforth ensure that there would be no delays, and bottlenecks for industry.
Some analysts speculated that I might be projected as the focal point for the perceived failure of the economy at that time. What followed was a hysterical vicious false and motivated campaign against me, in the media, orchestrated entirely by particular chosen individuals in the party. There was not a single word of truth in what was said, nor was there a single concrete fact.
I also feel that I have been pressurised and used to lead issues which I considered wrong. An instance: While I was still a Minister, an important matter which has caused me great agitation is the fact that I was called upon to attack the present Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on what is referred to in the media as ‘Snoopgate.’
Despite the fact that I initially refused, because I thought that the party should attack Shri Modi on policy and governance and not drag an unknown woman into a controversy, Shri Ajay Maken telephoned me on November 16, 2013, while I was on tour and asked me to come to Delhi immediately to address a press conference on the issue. I expressed my disinclination to do this, and refused the assignment, mentioning that I was a Minister at that time, and this should not be taken as the point of view of Government. I suggested perhaps an Official Spokesperson should do the Press Conference, if so desired. Shri Maken told me once again, that this was a decision taken at “the highest level” and that I had no choice in the matter. After the press conference throughout the controversy which followed I was told by Shri Maken to fiercely attack Shri Modi, on TV channels and during debates, although I was otherwise never fielded in the media after appointment as Minister.”
She goes on to add-
“The damage to my reputation has been complete and devastating. And future generations of my family will not forgive me if I do not set the record straight. I have therefore chosen this time to write to you. I am doing it after four months of prayers and contemplation and coming to the conclusion that I need to write to you the truth which you know as much as I do.
While there is considerable churning going on in the party now, my own problems however are far deeper, and are both in relation to the party in general, and how I have been treated.”
Jayanti Natarajan is a 4th generation Congress party worker.
Enmity Beyond Death
The viciousness and aggressive hold on the party seniors that Sonia has, can be seen by the way she treated PV Narasimha Rao in his death. Neither did she allow his final funeral ceremony in Delhi, nor entrance of his dead body in Congress party headquarters. Whatever the quality of the legacy she received, but she took it very lightly and used it only for self interest. The smallness of her egoistic mind can be comprehended by a description of incidents just after PV Narasimha Rao’s death by Vinay Sitapati in his book “Half-Lion: How P.V. Narasimha Rao Transformed India”. Some excerpts :
“The home minister, Shivraj Patil, suggested to Rao’s youngest son, Prabhakara, that ‘the body should be cremated in Hyderabad’. But the family preferred Delhi. After all, Rao had last been chief minister of Andhra Pradesh more than thirty years ago, and had since worked as Congress general secretary, Union minister, and finally prime minister—all in Delhi. On hearing this, the usually decorous Shivraj Patil snapped, ‘No one will come.’
Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had by now reached Delhi. ‘It is our government, trust me,’ he told Rao’s family. ‘Let him be moved to Hyderabad. We will build a grand memorial for him there.’ Rao’s daughter S. Vani Devi says, ‘YSR was playing a major role in convincing [the] family to get the dead body to Hyderabad.’
The family wanted a commitment that a memorial would be built for Rao in Delhi. The Congress leaders present said yes. But considering how the party had treated Rao in his retirement, the family wanted to make doubly sure. At 9.30 p.m., they paid a visit to the one man who had stood by Narasimha Rao in the last years of his life. Manmohan Singh was wearing his nightdress, a white kurta-pyjama, when Rao’s family met him at his official residence on Race Course Road. When Shivraj Patil explained the demand for a memorial in Delhi, Manmohan replied, ‘No problem, we will do it.’ Prabhakara recalls, ‘We sensed even then that Sonia-ji did not want Father’s funeral in Delhi. She did not want a memorial [in Delhi] . . . She did not want him [to be seen] as an all-India leader . . . [But] there was pressure.’
It was customary for the bodies of past Congress presidents to be taken inside the party headquarters so that ordinary workers could pay their respects. The family was somewhat dazed when this did not happen. A friend of Rao’s asked a senior Congresswoman to let the body in. ‘The gate does not open,’ she replied. ‘This was untrue,’ the friend remembers. ‘When Madhavrao Scindia died [some years earlier] the gate was opened for him.’ Manmohan Singh now lives in a guarded bungalow a few minutes from Akbar Road. When asked why Rao’s body wasn’t allowed into the Congress headquarters, he replies that he was present, but has no knowledge of this. Another Congressman is more forthcoming. ‘We were expecting the gate to be opened . . . but no order came. Only one person could give that order.’
He adds, ‘She did not give it.’ “
It has been said that Sonia and Priyanka Gandhi expressed that they have forgiven Rajiv Gandhi’s killers and they are ok with the killers’ capital punishment sentences commuted to life imprisonment. The ‘magnanimity’ shown by Gandhi family to forgive Rajiv’s killers (which was splashed all over media) is so unlike their treatment of dead PV Narasimha Rao (something which mainstream media has suppressed all these years). It raises a thousand questions.
People power and decolonization – the antidote
Thoughts come to the common citizen that Congress ecosystem and hence Sonia’s influence extends to upper echelons of all organs of our state – the recent overturning of lower court judgement by HC in National Herald case; CJI Thakur lashing out at PM Modi and ex-CJI RM Lodha slamming the Modi Government, but no CJI uttered a word during Sonia era when all our institutions were being degraded; coining of the phrase ‘saffron terror’ by the UPA Home Minister Chidambaram and playing with national security to target political opponents; systemic apathy under Congress rule to extreme human rights violations of those accused in Malegaon blasts 2008; media immunity that Sonia enjoys to this day; the leftist academia that dances to her tunes as was clear in the Award-wapsi drama– all this shows the iron-grip on our establishment that Sonia Gandhi continues to wield.
One of the worst aspects of the Sonia Gandhi legacy is the damage she has done to our public psyche. With Sonia and her dynasty at the helm, Congress’ general attitude towards the people of this country has been dismissive, as if to say, “You are a casteist, illiterate, socially backward, innately corrupt people. We, the Congress party, are doing a favor by ruling over you…..we are the best option to rule this fractured, divided, superstitious country.” It is a continuation of the British colonial attitude towards Bharat. And not surprisingly, the Congress’ viewpoint is lapped up the brown sepoys who dominate our institutions, as it perpetuates their positions as the Crème de la Crème and arbiters of this nation’s destiny.
Sonia in many ways is still the most powerful person in the country. We, the people, have one potent weapon in the war against the ecosystem she heads – our vote. We must exercise this vote judiciously to ensure that Sonia, her dynasty, their venal coterie, and fellow ‘secularists’ never again get to control the legislative reins of our country. And while keeping Sonia’s ecosystem out of power in legislature, we must keep exposing the other 3 pillars of our democracy – media, judiciary and executive – where deep colonization has set in, and where many powerful elements continue to support the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and their distorted Idea of India. Sonia’s influence on Bharat has to be slowly ground down by the aware, pro-active citizenry of this country. It promises to be a long-drawn struggle, and we cannot expect one or two heroes to do it all for us.