Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Jayanti Natarajan’s letter to Sonia Gandhi, dated November 5, 2014, was not supposed to reach the Press. But it reached the Press and got circulated.
She has not denied the letter. But, on the other hand, has added strength to it through media yesterday.
If she is to be believed, Ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s role was not becoming of the position he was holding.
But, she has no grievance against Singh.
What, then, Jayanti’s letter aims at?
It aims at dragging Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to litigation for the damage allegedly done to her and her family’s reputation by forcing her to resign from the post of Union Minister of State (I/C) Environment and Forest on December 20, 2013.
To make out the case, she has first focused on what a family of high repute she hails from and then proceeded to how her personal and family reputation has been tarnished and shattered by making her resign from the ministerial post she was holding.
She has raised the question of ‘natural justice’ which was and has been denied to her at the time of and after her enforced resignation. “If indeed I had been guilty of wrongdoing, I would have been happy to have been given a chance to defend myself, and I would have emerged pure and transparent and victorious.This opportunity was not given to me” she has said.
Thus making out a case of denial of natural justice to her, she has alleged, “Until now, I have been unable to understand what was wrongdoing committed by me to suddenly receive what was virtually a sentence of death”.
And, then, she has enumerated the damages done to her in these words:
“Over the last 11 months I have undergone untold mental and physical agony, as a result of this incident. I have major health issues due to my tension and humiliation over the treatment meted out to me, and my future looks bleak”.
Possibly she is contemplating a damage suit against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, holding them responsible for her enforced resignation from her ministerial position, as she has made it clear that she never holds the then Prime Minister responsible for what made her “humiliated so brutally”.
“The then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh wrote a letter to me, accepting my resignation, in which he praised the excellent work I had done as Minister, and what he termed my valuable contribution as Minister. In these circumstances, it was clearly not the Prime Minister nor my work in Government, which led to my ouster as Minister”, she has declared.
If she is not planning to drag Sonia and Rahul to the Court, she would not have been so emphatic in confronting Sonia with how she and Rahul had denied her natural justice.
“I want to place on record, that from December 20, 2013, until now, I have still not been told by you, why I was asked to resign from the Council of Ministers, nor have I ever been asked or given an opportunity to explain, if indeed I had committed any wrongdoing” she has said while further asserting that her letter is meant to do justice to her family “legacy” damaged by her “humiliation”.
“I wish to record that I tried several times to meet Shri Rahul Gandhi and you, but was not given an appointment” whereas “I need to save the legacy of my family; or children and my future generations will not forgive me”.
Interestingly, Natarajan has depicted in her letter how she was forced against her will to attack Modi in ‘snoopgate’ . To quote her:
“While I was still a Minister, an important matter which has caused me great agitation is the fact that I was called upon to attack the present Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on what is referred to in the media as ‘Snoopgate’.
“Despite the fact that I initially refused, because I thought that the party should attack Shri Modi on policy and governance and not drag an unknown woman into a controversy, Shri Ajay Maken telephoned me on November 16, 2013, while I was on tour and asked me to come to Delhi immediately to address a press conference on the issue. I expressed my disinclination to do this, and refused the assignment, mentioning that I was a Minister at that time, and this should not be taken as the point of view of Government. I suggested perhaps an Official Spokesperson should do the Press Conference, if so desired. Shri Maken told me once again, that this was a decision taken at “the highest level” and that I had no choice in the matter. After the press conference throughout the controversy which followed I was told by Shri Maken to fiercely attack Shri Modi, on TV channels and during debates, although I was otherwise never fielded in the media after appointment as Minister”.
Considering her disposition displayed in her letter, it is difficult to accept that she was also taking orders from Maken and implementing them.
So the mention of the Modi matter, indicating that in her view it was wrong to attack Modi, has a strong indication and that is, Kalyani Natarajan is building her up for Modi Mission.