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Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
Outlook.com
Outlook.com
Volcker Fall Out

The Gloves Are Off

Natwar begins his "aar-paar" (decisive) war by launching full-frontal attacks on Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee, while his new found friends from the BJP, JDU and SP look on gleefully.

The Gloves Are Off
| AP File
The Gloves Are Off
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The main target was of course Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. And the man who had read out the suspension order: defence minister Pranab Mukherjee, who had said that Natwar was bringing disrepute to the Congress.

And then followed a scathing attack on Manmohan Singh. "The Prime Minister should answer the following. Does he not have a murderer in his cabinet? Is he bringing him credit? Does he not have a rapist in his cabinet? Is he bringing him credit? Does he not have a lady member involved in the murder of Rajiv Gandhi? Does she bring him credit? Are they not bringing disrepute to the government? My record is impeccable. I have only brought repute to my country and I am proud of it"

He went on to join issue with the rest of the statement: "What propaganda? What have I said about the party? Let them give proof. I have only said that I would not speak about the Congress president or the party. I have only said that I have not made a single paisa in this deal. If I wanted, I could have made millions."

And perhaps he forgot the cardinal rule about not attacking Sonia Gandhi. Because he went on to say, "Why doesn't the Congress talk of Quattrocchi? Poor Andaleeb Sehgal, he has made only 1,46,000 dollars in this whole deal. And how much have they spent on Pathak Commission? The report he has given is a disgrace. He has not even appended the affidavits I, my son Jagat or even Andaleeb Sehgal have given to them. "

"As for ('what's his name?') Pranab Mukherjee, he should first look inwards (hinting at the recent Submarine deal). Besides, who is Pranab Mukherjee? He is the man who wanted to become prime minister after Indira Gandhi's death. He was thrown out of the Congress for six years. Who is he to tell me about repute or disrepute?"

"They have the temerity to question my honour? Do they think I am a coward? Who do they think they are dealing with? I have a strong nerve and I will show them what I am made of."

Intriguingly, while Natwar Singh picked on almost everything else that was said by Pranab Mukherjee, he remained silent on the bit about the Congress president not knowing that he had taken his son and Andaleeb Sehgal as part of the Congress delegation to Iraq, leave alone having given him permission for the same.

But while Sonia was otherwise spared individually, her "nominated prime minister" Manmohan Singh was not. After moving the privilege motion, he had said that he had nothing personal against the prime minister. But he was in a scathing and cutting mood soon after the suspension order: "Is it fair that the (Pathak Authority) report is leaked from the office of Manmohan Singh?" I want to tell you that Manmohan Singh is not an elected representative of the people of India. He is a nominated prime minister. We have had 11 prime ministers so far, and 10 of them were members of Lok Sabha. He is the first non-elected Prime Minister. In fact, he is the only prime minister in the whole world who has not even won a municpal election! I will be writing to the Guinness book of world records about this."

He had prefaced his response to his suspension from the party by saying, "It has come on 'Raksha Bandhan' day, which is a very auspicious day, but for the Congress it is "vinaash kaale vipariit buddhi (faced with destruction, the mind becomes unbalanced)" While his detractors in the Congress party are aware of the embarrassment he is causing them, pointing to his new-found friends, they wonder how long it would take before he is thrown out by them, like a used condom, once he runs out of things to say.

But what exactly Natwar Singh goes on to say is precisely what would certainly be awaited with bated breath. Would he say something against Sonia Gandhi? Or has he discredited himself enough already to be taken seriously?

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