Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has refuted claims in the book “Accidental PM: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh” that he had leaked information from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The book, written by Dr. Singh’s former media advisor Sanjaya Baru, claims that Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had once complained to the Prime Minister about a series of stories against him in newspapers. The book says Mr. Pawar, who heads the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) which is a key ally of the Congress, had learnt that the leaks originated from the PMO. Mr. Baru claimed in the book that he checked on the source of the reports and found that the trail led to Mr. Chavan.

“I have not read the book but if it makes this allegation, then it is laughable,” Mr. Chavan told a television channel in Kolhapur.  He later told the media that the Prime Minister had always been in touch with UPA ministers. “He may have taken advice from Mr. Pawar at times as a senior cabinet minister,” he said.

Mr. Chavan also said the timing of the book’s release raised questions about its motives. “The book has a commercial motive. This is clear since it was released when elections are due,” Mr. Chavan said.

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