Noted paralympic athlete Malathi Holla said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh initially doubted her certificates when she sought excise duty exemption to buy a car in 1994 but granted it immediately showing his empathy, after she convinced him about the authenticity of documents.
Singh, who was then Finance Minister, first asked her "How can I believe that these are yours ?" when she displayed her 150 certificates, Holla, winner of the Arjuna and Padma Shri awards, said in her authorised biography released here today.
Infuriated, Malathi, now 51, shot back :`How can I believe, Sir, that you are Manmohan Singh ?". He (Singh) was taken aback. "What do you mean ?", Singh demanded, according to the biography.
"Sir, just to cheat you, I needn't have travelled over 46 hours with all my problems. I could have sent you the
certificates by post, isn't it ? These are all my original certificates. If you wanted to, you could have verified with the Sports department at Shastri Bhavan. I said all this very politely, but I was extremely hurt",she said.
Singh then apologised at once and asked when she was going back and she would have all the exemption before she reached Bangalore. "When I reached Bangalore, the relevant letter was indeed on my table !", the biography said.