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Sonia Gandhi bids to stall release of tell-all book

New Delhi, July 23 (): Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi visit to Natwar Singh, the former foreign minister’s house was to request him to not launch his book ‘One Life is not enough’. The book is said to be a tell-all affair of the goings-on in Congress.

An hour-long meeting was at first seen as a move by Sonia Gandhi to bring back senior leaders back into the party fold. This came as a surprise since Natwar Singh having dropped from the ministry in 2005 was not seen to be having any contacts with Sonia Gandhi except exchanging pleasantries on a few occasions.

The book release is scheduled for August 7 at India International Centre and Soli Sorabhjee, the ex-SG will release it. The event has not been publicized much.That book said to be written by Natwar Singh himself tells his experiences from the day he joined Congress in 1984 and his tenure before as IFS officer in Indira Gandhi period and later his stint with Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh.

Sonia Gandhi wanted to avoid yet another tell-all book on the lines of Baru, the media advisor of Manmohan Singh. Natwar Singh had been very close to Gandhi family and was privy to all happenings at close range. Singh refused to comment on Sonia Gandhi meeting and recalling his resignation, he said that he was asked by Sonia Gandhi to give in his resignation and he did so.

Singh, as foreign minister in Manmohan Singh cabinet, was removed from the position in December 2005 after a Paul Volcker report on the Iraq Oil-for-Food scandal named him and his son Jagat as beneficiaries of the programme.

Natwar Singh, his son and his friend facilitated a company to sell Iraqi oil to a Swiss firm that paid kickbacks to Saddam Hussein and the trio. Singh in turn lobbied against US stance on Iraq. An Indian inquiry by a retired Justice said that Singh and his son did influence oil contracts from Iraq but did not receive any financial gains. The Enforcement Directorate had probed Singh’s oil deal and is yet to close them.