This refers to Prakash Karat’s rejoinder (Jan. 25) to Sanjaya Baru’s article “Decoding Manmohan Singh’s red lines” (Jan. 23). It is painful to see Mr. Baru’s attempt to refurbish Manmohan Singh’s image by presenting half-truths and alluding to red lines that only Mr. Baru could have seen. Going by the style and substance of Dr. Singh’s governance, it is inconceivable that he could have, even for the sake of his American friends, ventured to impose President’s rule in West Bengal, of all Indian States. It is yet another distortion of fact that the Left Front was ejected from the UPA. Similarly, Mamata Banerjee left the UPA on her own when she found she could not endorse certain policies of the government.
The PM’s own Cabinet Ministers have ignored his directives. When his Railway Minister increased the fares, Ms Banerjee vetoed the move and replaced the Minister. Former Telecom Minister A. Raja ignored Dr. Singh’s directives on 2G auction and implemented his own version. The coal department which was under Dr. Singh’s direct control made serious compromises in the allocation of coal blocks while he remained blissfully oblivious to what was happening. While the list could go on, the red lines become more and more obscure.
I was amused to read Mr. Karat’s gratuitous references to my political naiveté and his denial of what I wrote in my column regarding the contents of conversations between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya and Mr. Karat dating back to 2005. Mr Karat is questioning “facts.” I grant him his right to have his opinion about the Prime Minister and me, but he cannot deny facts, that too what have already been reported in the media and were never denied.
Of course, it is true that when it comes to the content of a conversation between two individuals we can only go by what each side recalls. However, the fact remains that what I wrote in my column about the Prime Minister warning Mr. Bhattacharya that the West Bengal government could be dismissed was also reported in the media in January 2006. Neither Mr. Karat nor Mr. Bhattacharya denied those reports at that time.
The reports, appearing both in the Bengali language print media and on the Internet, are there for anyone to check. Facts relating to what the CPI (M) threatened to do and finally did were all reported at the time and bear out what I wrote.