Lok Sabha Election / Who did not allow Sonia Gandhi to become PM, Rahul, Priyanka or anyone else..?

Zoom News : Apr 17, 2024, 10:50 AM
Lok Sabha Election: Sonia Gandhi may not be contesting the elections herself, but she remains a strong presence in the party's election activities. By rejecting the post of Prime Minister during the UPA era, he drew a big line. There is no other example of this sacrifice for the people associated with the party. Of course the opposition is not convinced of this. He remembers the ten years of Dr. Manmohan Singh's tenure as Sonia's rule behind the scenes. But even after this the question remains that why did Sonia not accept to sit on the most important chair of the country?

The election campaign for the 18th Lok Sabha is at its peak. Narendra Modi is preparing for a hat-trick. Congress is hoping to return to power again through Indi alliance. The pages of electoral history are being turned. That dramatic incident of 2004 is also being remembered, when there was a call in Congress only for Sonia but she remained adamant about not becoming the Prime Minister. According to former Foreign Minister Kunwar Natwar Singh, who was very close to the Gandhi family, it was Rahul Gandhi who stopped his mother from becoming Prime Minister. Why? Read its inside story,

India Shining slogan was a fuss

This was a big blow for the BJP led NDA. Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee was surprised by the results. His strategy of holding elections six months ahead of schedule had failed. The slogan of India Shining had also become redundant. Sonia Gandhi may not have proved effective for Congress in 1998 and 1999, but in 2004, Congress emerged as the largest party with 145 members.

Its number including pre-poll alliance partners was 222. To keep BJP away from power, 59 members of the Left Front were together on the condition of having the same minimum program while staying out of the government. This alliance received the unsolicited support of SP, BSP and RLD, due to which their number in the Lok Sabha reached 317.

Sonia's projects were being done even before the results.

The election results were declared on 13 May 2004. But a week before that, his Political Secretary Ahmed Patel started putting forward Sonia Gandhi's name as Prime Minister. On May 15, in the meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party held under the chairmanship of Dr. Manmohan Singh, the party MPs elected him as their leader. On May 16, Sonia Gandhi invited UPA and Left Front leaders for dinner at 10 Janpath.

On this occasion, colleagues approved Sonia Gandhi's name for the post of Prime Minister. SP was not invited to this dinner. Still, Amar Singh had reached this dinner along with Har Kishan Singh Surjeet. SP was not included among those who supported Sonia for the post of Prime Minister. Amar Singh had also complained about this. But Congress, which had gathered sufficient support, ignored it.

Sushma's resolve to shave her head and wear white clothes!

Sonia's path was clear. But even after the defeat in the elections, she was not accepted by the BJP. The reason was his foreign origin. Then Sushma Swaraj raised this issue loudly. He told the media that the country's security interests would be in danger if a Prime Minister of foreign origin remained in power. Even after sixty years of independence, power going into the hands of a foreigner would mean disempowerment of 100 crore people.

Swaraj did not stop here, “Even after getting married, I will shave my head. I will wear white clothes. I will lie down on the floor and eat only roasted gram.” Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti announced her resignation. Many women supporting BJP demonstrated their protest by making cuts on their wrists and thumbs. Of. N. Govindacharya called for national self-respect movement.

That opposition of Rahul

BJP was aggressive about Sonia. Congress was confident about his leadership. But there was strong opposition within Sonia's family to assuming the post of Prime Minister. Kunwar Natwar Singh has mentioned this in his autobiography One Life Is Not Enough and Neerja Chaudhary has mentioned this in How Prime Ministers Decide.

On 17 May 2004, at around 2 pm, Natwar Singh reached 10 Janpath. He was close to his family. They were sent inside. Sonia was sitting on the sofa in the room and was quite anxious. Manmohan Singh and Priyanka were also there. After some time Suman Dubey also arrived. Then Rahul reached there and sat in front of all of us. Turning towards Sonia, Rahul said, “You do not have to become the Prime Minister. My father was murdered. Grandmother was murdered. Will kill you too in six months.”

Rahul threatened to go to any extent if his words were not followed. Rahul gave Sonia 24 hours to decide. When Rahul said that he would take every possible step to stop her from accepting the post of Prime Minister, a distressed Sonia had tears in her eyes. These fifteen-twenty minutes filled with tension were very difficult times. Manmohan Singh was speechless. Priyanka said something like, “Rahul is against this and he can do anything.”

Only a few leaders knew the reason for the refusal

Natwar Singh was an eyewitness to the events of the afternoon of 17th May, probably the tussle in Sonia's family had started with her election as the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party and her coronation to the post of Prime Minister. This morning itself, Sonia had informed Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni and Janardan Dwivedi about her decision not to accept the post of Prime Minister.

He had also told Ambika Soni that BJP would create a lot of problems for her. Natwar Singh and Makhan Lal Fotedar had informed Vishwanath Pratap Singh about this decision at the behest of Sonia. Singh was supporting Congress and Sonia at that time. Later Vishwanath Pratap Singh told journalist Neerja Chaudhary that the reason for Sonia's children to stop their mother from becoming Prime Minister was the fear of their lives being in danger.

CPI(M) leader Somnath Chatterjee had also confirmed this. Chatterjee said, “We supported him for the post of Prime Minister. But her children stopped her because they feared for their mother's life. “In the evening, Sonia had called the leaders of the allies at 10 Janpath and informed them about her decision. However, the reason for this was not told to these leaders. Dr. Manmohan Singh was also with Sonia when she went to meet President Kalam on the morning of 18 May. After Sonia's refusal, the President's Office prepared a second letter of invitation to form the government.

Despite all the persuasion and pressure in the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting in the evening, Sonia remained firm on her decision. However, the reason for this was “children's fear for their mother's life” which was known only to a select few at that time.