New Delhi: Former president APJ Abdul Kalam has made a startling revelation in his forthcoming memoir Turning Points, in which he has written that he was ready to swear in Congress chief Sonia Gandhi as the Prime Minister in 2004, as opposed to the popular notion that he had dissuaded her from becoming PM.
As per newspaper reports, the book further reveals that despite pressure from various political parties and politicians, his office had prepared a letter inviting Sonia Gandhi to form the government but was “surprised” when she nominated Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister.
According to the former president, he received “emails and letters from individuals, organisations and parties” asking him not to accept Sonia Gandhi’s prime ministership but he merely forwarded It to various government agencies sans any remarks.
He said that the demands made were “constitutionally untenable”, and if Sonia Gandhi “had made any claim for herself, I would have had no option but to appoint her.”
Kalam further reveals that he had written out his resignation after the Supreme Court held the midnight dissolution of the Bihar Assembly on May 23, 2005 as unconstitutional. However, he decided not to resign after PM Manmohan Singh pleaded with him not to quit as the resulting furore might lead to the fall of the government.
Kalam further writes that he had asked the PM on the urgency to dissolve an Assembly that had been in suspended animation for six months but then signed the proclamation because he was convinced the government had made up its mind.
He believes the government failed to properly present the President’s action in court, thereby attracting adverse judicial remarks on the Cabinet, which is “mine and I have to take the responsibility.”
First Published: Saturday, June 30, 2012, 12:21