Sonia Chose Manmohan Singh As He Posed No Threat To Rahul: Barack Obama

New Delhi: Former US president Barack Obama’s comments on Indian politicians, including Rahul Gandhi, in his memoir “A Promised Land” have been making headlines for quite some time.

Obama, in his book, mentions that India tuned in to a more market-based economy in the 1990s that gave a major growth and a rising middle class in India. “As a chief architect of India’s economic transformation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seemed like a fitting emblem of this progress: a member of the tiny, often persecuted Sikh religious minority who’d risen to the highest office in the land, and a self-effacing technocrat who’d won people’s trust not by appealing to their passions but by bringing about higher living standards and maintaining a well-earned reputation for not being corrupt,” Obama said.

In his memoir, Obama has written that then PM Manmohan Singh managed to resist calls for launching attacks on Pakistan post 26/11 Mumbai attacks — the call that caused political damage to him.

“He feared that rising anti-Muslim sentiment had strengthened the influence of India’s main opposition party, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). ‘In uncertain times, Mr. President,’ the prime minister said, ‘the call of religious and ethnic solidarity can be intoxicating. And it’s not so hard for politicians to exploit that, in India or anywhere else’,” Obama wrote, quoting former PM Singh.

“… More than one political observer believed that she’d (Sonia Gandhi) had chosen Singh precisely because as an elderly Sikh with no national political base, he posed no threat to her forty year-old son, Rahul, whom she was grooming to take over the Congress Party,” Obama mentions.

The former US president also recollects a dinner he once had at former PM Singh’s residence, which was also attended by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

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