Re­peat per­for­mance

The Financial Express - - OPINION -

Af­ter ruf­fling feath­ers in the Congress with his The Ac­ci­den­tal Prime Min­is­ter, in which he claimed that Man­mo­han Singh as prime min­is­ter had played sec­ond fid­dle to Sonia Gandhi, au­thor Sanjaya Baru is set for an en­core. In his forthcoming ti­tle, 1991: How Narasimha Rao Made His­tory, Baru ar­gues that Ra­jiv Gandhi con­trib­uted to the Indian eco­nomic cri­sis not just with his poli­cies but also with his po­lit­i­cal ma­noeu­vres. Gandhi had given an as­sur­ance to Pres­i­dent R Venkatara­man that he would back Chandra Shekhar’s mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment till the eco­nomic cri­sis had blown over. But Gandhi top­pled the gov­ern­ment just be­fore the bud­get for 1991, pre­vent­ing In­dia, Baru writes, from se­cur­ing a life­line from the IMF. This, he adds, was the last straw that pushed the econ­omy to the brink of de­fault. At Baru’s book re­leases next week, then fi­nance min­is­ter Yash­want Sinha will share the stage with one of his suc­ces­sors, P Chi­dambaram, who fell out with Narasimha Rao.

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