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Modi uses book to attack Sonia

Mumbai, April 12: Narendra Modi today tried to provoke Sonia Gandhi into breaking her silence on Sanjaya Baru’s controversial account of Manmohan Singh’s first term, saying he had come “to know” from the book that the Congress chief remote-controlled the government from 10 Janpath.

“A new book has come out in Delhi. It says ministers were decided at Madam Soniaji’s place. Departments were allotted at Soniaji’s place. Transfers were done at Madam Soniaji’s house. I had heard of a remote-controlled government, but I came to know that the remote itself was running the government when the book came out yesterday,” the BJP mascot said in Pune.

Modi questioned Sonia’s “silence” on issues raised in The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh. “Twenty-four hours have passed, Madam Soniaji, why are your lips sealed?” he asked.

Modi accused the UPA of destroying institutions like the Planning Commission and government auditor CAG. “The constitutional dignity of the Planning Commission was crushed. The National Advisory Council was formed by Madam Soniaji and she filled it with jholawalas and protectors of Maoists. All decisions were taken in the NAC, keeping the PM in the dark,” he said.

The CPM rubbished Baru’s claims. “The PMO has termed the book an act of fiction. From whatever has appeared in the media there appears a lot of merit in the PMO reaction,” politburo member Sitaram Yechury said and questioned Baru’s claims on the Left’s alleged role in unseating several Prime Ministers.

The Congress hit out at Baru, spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi accusing him of “betrayal” and “greed”, and dismissing his book as a “work of fiction and gossip”.

Another spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala, questioned the “timing” of the book’s release, saying Baru’s “current proximity” to a strategist of Modi was “well known”.