Ex-Congress veteran levels charges at Sonia Gandhi

16 Jul 2016 | Written by Shiladitya ; Edited by Gaurav

Ex-Congress veteran, Margaret Alva, who resigned from the Congress in 2008, levelled charges against Congress President Sonia Gandhi in an interview with Karan Thapar.

The interview was regarding her soon-to-be-released autobiography 'Courage and Commitment'.

The book comes at a time when Alva has been appointed as a member of a Congress panel to improve relations between the party and the Congress Government in Karnataka.

In context: Ex-Congress veteran levels charges at Sonia Gandhi

ResignationMargaret Alva: From general secretary to resignation

Margaret Alva, who was the General Secretary of the Congress, resigned in 2008.

Alva had alleged that Congress tickets were being sold in the run-up to the 2008 Assembly Elections in Karnataka.

She had subsequently been reprimanded by Sonia Gandhi for speaking out, and resigned soon afterwards.

"I paid the price for saying tickets were being sold," Alva said in the interview with Thapar.

16 Jul 2016Ex-Congress veteran levels charges at Sonia Gandhi

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ChargesAlva calls Sonia Gandhi's way of running the Congress "arbitrary"

Margaret Alva revealed that she had often been told by PM Manmohan Singh that she would be made a Cabinet minister, but Sonia Gandhi's "arbitrary" way of running the party got in the way.

She cited Vilasrao Deshmukh's appointment as CM of Maharashtra, and Sushil Kumar Shinde's appointment as Governor of Andhra Pradesh as examples of Sonia Gandhi's ad-hoc ways of running the Congress.

Margaret Alva on the decision-making process of the Congress

Margaret Alva revealed that decisions in the Congress come from the top down, saying, "Decision making in the Congress is very centralised. I was in-charge of 8 states, and have given my life to the party. All I expected was a little bit of consultation."

Sonia-Rao relationsGlimpses of Sonia Gandhi's "cold relationship" with P.V. Narasimha Rao

Margaret Alva's book contains glimpses of Sonia Gandhi's "cold relationship" with P.V. Narasimha Rao.

It mentions an incident when the Rao Government appealed against the Delhi High Court's decision to quash complaints in the Bofors scandal, to which Sonia had reacted by saying, "What does the PM want to do? Send me to jail?"

It also mentions that Rao was "unnerved" by Sonia's "aloofness".

Alva reveals her thoughts on Narasimha Rao's death

Margaret Alva's book mentions that P.V. Narasimha Rao's body was not allowed to be placed in the AICC headquarters and her feelings on the same. "He was a Congress president. He should have got his due in his death", Alva said.
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Other ContentsOther revelations the book contains

Margaret Alva's book also contains untold stories of the internal functioning and politics of the Congress, details of the VVIP Chopper scam accused Christian Michel's father's links with Sanjay Gandhi and other Congress leaders, contents of her 2008 resignation letter and several other such dubious incidents.

The book also mentions that Rajiv Gandhi's assassination is still "steeped in mystery".

17 Jul 2016Congress rubbishes Alva's book

The Congress party rubbished the allegations put forth in Margaret Alva's book by calling them 'tools' for marketing.

Party spokespersons lambasted the book calling it a "compromise with history" and alleging that the book was "economical with the truth."

They also demanded to know why these allegations were made 30 years after enjoying positions with the party, terming the timing of the allegations suspicious.

22 Jul 2016Have no ulterior motives behind book: Alva

Former Congress veteran Margaret Alva stated that she had "no axe to grind" and did not seek to humiliate the Congress through her book.

She further stated that she always treated Sonia Gandhi as her "leader and her friend."

She added that the facts in her book were already in the public domain and she did not indulge in mud-slinging through the book.