The BJP was reacting to Sanjay Baru's book which claimed that the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was "defanged" by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in UPA-II

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday used Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s former media adviser Sanjaya Baru’s book to fire a fresh salvo at the Congress which, in turn, described the Penguin publication 'The Accidental Prime Minister' as "cheap fiction".

Flagging the revelations made in the book, the BJP raised five questions, which they want Dr. Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to answer. "The book written by Mr. Baru has raised important issues. All of these need answers; particularly from Ms. Gandhi," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Referring to Penguin’s description of the book being "packed with political gossip", Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said: "It is true that it is gossip but it is not good fiction either."

Asked if the party would file a case against Mr. Baru, he said: "I am not going to reduce this to a legal hair splitting issue at all. This is a far larger issue of trust, faith, confidence, morality and ethics."

Topping the list of BJP’s questions is Mr. Baru's claim that all Cabinet files were shown to Ms. Gandhi. “We know in the current dispensation power was shared between Ms. Gandhi and Dr. Singh, but we need answers on whether Cabinet files were seen or approved by Ms. Gandhi before the Prime Minister’s consideration,” Ms. Sitharaman said.

The BJP has also sought details on whether any deal on Siachen was finalised by Ms. Gandhi along with former Army General Gen. J.J. Singh. “Was a deal struck at all, was there an attempt to give it away or was there an attempt to have a swap of some kind? It is very critical to know, given India’s internal as well as border security,” the BJP spokesperson said.

Another question pertains to why the Prime Minister refused to accept daily briefings from Intelligence agencies. “It has serious implications. Did this not have a bearing on our security situation?” the BJP asked.

Taking note of Mr. Baru’s claims that A. Raja was appointed as Telecom Minister on Ms. Gandhi’s advice, the BJP demanded to know whether the Prime Minister had “forfeited his prerogative to decide on who would be in his cabinet”.

The BJP has also asked the Prime Minister to explain why he could not crackdown on corruption during his tenure. “Did the PM knowingly overlook corruption by his colleagues as alleged in the book? Did 2G, CWG and Coalgate happen because of this?”

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