Was Sonia Gandhi the super PM during Manmohan Singh’s regime?
The 710 files of the controversial National Advisory Council (NAC) made open by Government of India on Sunday revealed that one of the files, dated September 14, 2011, highlights the undermining of the prime minister’s position, reports The New Indian Express.
The report said, the NAC chairperson Sonia Gandhi, on the said date, wrote a letter to the then Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh with recommendations to strengthen the natural resource management under the MNREGA.
On 28th September 2011, the recommendations were also agreed upon in mail sent by the minister. Ramesh also invited Deep Joshi, Aruna Roy and others from the NAC to be part of the consultative process. “We will now put the ideas contained in the discussion paper into practice,” Jairam wrote to Sonia.
The report narrated an instance where the Ministry of Shipping and Ports knocked the doors of the NAC to resolve implementation issues relating to the development of ports in the western sector was highlighted.
The daily quoted File 11012/2/2014-NAC, dated February 25, 2014, to highlight the Congress president’s apparent lack of trust in the prime minister’s abilities.
As per the report, the file suggested that the NAC had taken a more proactive role in formulating policies than previously expected from it, as the body sent recommendations on developing sports in the northeast to the PMO with the prior approval of the chairperson – Sonia Gandhi.
The many of the files also bring to light the extra-constitutional authority that the members of the advisory group had over the bureaucracy.
According to the daily, in a file (26011/1/2011-NAC-1877) dated April 20, 2011, Rita Sharma, a secretary in the NAC, wrote a letter to the rural development secretary to bear expenses of an NAC working group meeting on improving natural resources management under MNREGA.
In another instance, a declassified file reveals how a coal ministry official had to make a presentation on improving coal production and formulating a new coal distribution policy at the NAC office at 2 Motilal Nehru Place in 2007.