May 1987. It was humid and hot in Fiza, but the ‘war’ between Rajiv Gandhi and Vishwanath Pratap Singh (VP Singh) continued in the political corridors.
was discussed. VP Singh and Rajiv Gandhi, who quit the minister’s post, accused of scam in the Bofors deal, were face to face. The tussle between the two escalated when Rajiv Gandhi indirectly compared Singh to Mir Jafar and Jaichand in a public meeting.
After that VP Singh and Rajiv Gandhi came face to face. Since Rajiv Gandhi was already angry with Singh and on seeing him, he asked, ‘Nowadays you are very much cheering. What do you intend to do? In response, VP Singh said, ‘We will remain true workers of Congress and if the Prime Minister wants, we will retire from politics.’
Referring to this anecdote, former MP Santosh Bhartia writes in his recent book ‘VP Singh, Chandrashekhar, Sonia Gandhi and I’ that ‘there was a sharp reaction from Rajiv Gandhi on this remark of VP Singh. He taunted and said, ‘Even 3 months will not be able to go on like this and like Pranab Mukherjee, you will also come back.’ Actually, Pranab Mukherjee had left the Congress after differences but returned after some time.
‘I accept the challenge’: Rajiv Gandhi On this taunt, VP Singh also retaliated and said that if it goes on like this for 3 months, then I will run. I accept your challenge.
Wanted to make Sonia the PM: Referring to another anecdote in his book, Santosh Bhartia has written that how VP Singh had made all efforts to make Sonia Gandhi the Prime Minister in the year 2004 and sought help from many regional parties. Bhartia writes, ‘VP Singh told me that if Atal Bihari Bajpayee were to become the Prime Minister again, he might not have tried this, but when LK Advani’s name came in the discussion for the post of PM, he considered it appropriate to advocate Sonia Gandhi. ‘