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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Natwar Singh: The insider who later turned a ‘betrayer’

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 31, 2014
First Published: 01:21 IST(31/7/2014) | Last Updated: 14:56 IST(31/7/2014)

Former external affairs minister K Natwar Singh had once said that many Congress leaders resented him because of his closeness to party chief Sonia Gandhi.

Singh made these remarks on November 7, 2005 while refusing to resign after he and the Congress party were named by an international panel, headed by former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul A Volcker, as “beneficiaries” of illegal Iraqi oil sales in 2001 under the United Nations oil-for-food programme.

Under this programme, the then Iraqi government headed by Saddam Hussein was permitted to sell oil and use the proceeds for food and other humanitarian goods. But a month later in December 2005, he was fired.

That soured the relations and Singh was out of the Gandhi family’s inner circle. A Congress leader said Singh often boasted of calling the Congress president by her first name to show his proximity with her.

Almost a year later, Gandhi accused Singh of betrayal by “misusing” the party’s name in the oil-for-food scam.

“As it became clearer that it was true that my colleague had misused the name of the party in some ways, I felt extremely betrayed,” she had told NDTV in an interview in October 2006.

Despite his resignation from the government, Singh stayed put in the Congress till February 2008 when he formally announced his resignation as by then all his hopes of being rehabilitated had faded.

Several years down the lane, Singh is preparing to hit back. In a tell-all book, “One Life is Not Enough: An Autobiography”, Singh has revealed details of the functioning of the Congress and Sonia Gandhi when he was a member of the party’s core team.

Read: Sonia hits back at Natwar, says 'I will write my own book, then everyone will know the truth'


Read:
Natwar’s book confirms Baru’s thesis

Read: ‘Sonia more powerful than Nehru, Indira’

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