BJP leader Narendra Modi referred to the book penned by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's former media advisor Sanjaya Baru and sought answers from Congress president Sonia Gandhi on allegation that "she handled the government files before the PMO".
Gujarat chief minister and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi during a rally, in Balasore, Odisha. (Arabinda Mahapatra/HT Photo)
"One of the biggest revelations was made yesterday in a book. It claims that Sonia used to clear the Central government's files before the PMO. The government appointments, ministerial portfolios, transfers etc. were being decided by her and then cleared by the PM mechanically without applying mind," Modi said alluding to Baru's memoir "The Accidental PM" which has crated an uproar in political circles.
Modi was addressing an election rally in Pune on Saturday night in support of party candidate Anil Shirole.
"The institution of Prime Minister had been degraded. Sonia has kept mum even 24 hours after the revelations in the book. She should answer the charges as people want to know," Modi said.
Read: Saleability, not politics, basis of Baru’s book timing: Penguin
"We had heard about the remote control but in this case the remote itself was running the government," Modi said.
If the institution of PM was devalued like this, no country in the world would accept its constitutional authority, he said.
"The revelations in the book have also explained the intemperate action on part of 'shehzada' (Rahul Gandhi), daring to tear off the ordinance (on conviction of elected representatives) which was approved by the cabinet and PM. These are serious charges made in the book written by an insider," the BJP's PM nominee said.
Citing instances of institutional degradation, the BJP leader said, "the PM's authority as the Planning Commission (chairman) too was eroded with the setting up of the National Advisory Council (NAC) which kept him in the dark while taking decisions".
For the first time, the country saw frictions between the government and the Army as well as the CVC, he added.
Read: Cong, BJP trade barbs over contents of book