Congress let down former PM PV Narasimha Rao: Sanjaya Baru

Hyderabad: Former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao had many achievements like ending terrorism in Punjab and successfully conducting Jammu and Kashmir polls, other than initiating 1991 economic reforms, but his party Congress let him down, Sanjaya Baru said on Thursday.

“Yes, these and many others. Overall, the party has let him down,” Baru, who was media adviser to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, told PTI in an interview.

He was asked if he felt that Rao’s achievements have not been adequately acknowledged.

Taking a swipe at Congress President Sonia Gandhi, he claimed that “Sonia Congress” deliberately tried to malign Rao who was Prime Minister during 1991-1996.

“The ‘Sonia Congress’ deliberately maligned him and has tried to wipe his name off history books,” Baru said. Rao should be remembered for the sweeping changes he introduced in India’s economic and foreign policy at a particularly difficult moment in India’s recent history, he said.

Rao and his team, including then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, should get credit for the country’s economic reforms programme of 1991, Baru said.

“Undoubtedly the Prime Minister of the day (referring to Narasimha Rao) and his team, including (the then) Finance Minister Manmohan Singh (should get the credit). PV provided leadership as PM. That is what my book shows,” Baru said.

Baru’s new book ‘1991 — How P V Narasimha Rao Made History’ has recently been launched.

He said among the Prime Ministers, Narasimha Rao comes next only to Jawaharlal Nehru in terms of his achievements and the context in which he headed the government.

“I believe he comes next only to Jawaharlal Nehru, given the scale of his achievement and the economic and political context in which he did what he did,” Baru said.