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V P Singh or Rajiv Gandhi?

A new book by Former PM V P Singh reveals that Giani Zail Singh offered him the Prime Ministership.

india Updated: Jun 26, 2006 18:10 IST

At the height of his differences with late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the then President late Giani Zail Singh had offered V P Singh the Prime Ministership.

V P Singh, however, felt it was wrong to think this way.

In his just-published book Manjil Se Zyada Safar (Travel Beyond Destination), Singh says Zail Singh had sent him feelers through those who met him that he was ready to make him Prime Minister.

"But I refused. Then he called me over and I went to see the President. Fearing bugging inside Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President took me to the Mughal Gardens and told me that he would like to give me oath as Prime Minister," he said in the 550-page book comprising interviews conducted over a period of time.

"I will give you oath as Prime Minister. I am told 150 Congress MPs will be with you and you may get majority," Singh quoted the then President as saying.

The former Prime Minster then told Zail Singh "it is wrong to think this way." But he did not say what was Zail Singh's reaction to his refusal.

Singh, 75, also claimed that the Congress has been collecting funds for elections through defence deals right from the days of Indira Gandhi.

"I believe every party has to generate resources. Previously funds were procured from corporate houses. But a time came when funds began to be collected through defence deals abroad," he said.

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