Had former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi tried to win over Morarji Desai, heading Janata Party Govt in Center and was even willing to support him for continuing as Prime minister provided he joins Congress party.?
This has been claimed by Jagannanth Pahadia, senior congress leader and at present , Governor of Haryana, in his recently released Memoirs titled 'From Margin to Mainstream'.Book was released in Delhi by Dr. Karan senior Congress leader and first copy was presented to President, Parnab Mukhereeji.Now neither Charan Singh nor Morarji Desai is alive to ocnfirm or deny the claim. But Dr.Karan Sing in his forwarding note has stated that book will be of use to contemporary historians and students of political science. thus giving credibility to contents.
Pahadia who had worked with Desai as his deputy in Finance Ministry has revealed in his book that on behalf of Indira Gandhi, he had conveyed to Desai that she would support him and he would continue as Prime Minister .Desai was not trusting the words of Indira Gandhi , considering their past strained relations.
According to Pahadia since his brief was only limited to conveying the message and he was too small person to give any assurance on Indira Gandhi,s behalf he assured Desai that he will convey this to Indira Gandhi.Pahadia further writes that he conveyed to Indira Gandhi what Desai had said adding that Indira Ji commented ,'Fine.I will think over it"
Pahadia has claimed that not many people know about this important event.Neither .But is is part of history that Indira Gandhi had extended outside support to Charan Singh which was ultimately withdrawn and Charan Singh could not get vote of confidence of Parliament. Although Charan Singh had claimed that Indira Gandhi had stabbed him by withdrawing support but he was also to be blamed for this.After taking over as Prime minister,Charan Singh did not have even minimum courtesy to formally convey thanks to Indira Gandhi for her support. Charan Singh had even informed Indira Gandhi about his proposed visit but had cancelled it at last minute causing great embarrassment to Indira Gandhi. Rest if part of history as Congress party has withdrawn support from Charan Singh Govt.
Pahadia recalls that as bickering's have started within the Janata Party ,soon after coming to power and it seemed that as if Desai would resign at any time.Pahadia had further claimed that Indira Gandhi had decided to ask him to convey her message to Desai
considering his closeness with Desai..
Pahadia,s closeness to Indira Gandhi can be judged from the fact that his wife Shanti had led a group of female politicians including Taj Babbar and Shrimati Naval Prabhakar who were arrested along with Indira Gandhi.Even Sanjay Gandhi had conveyed a message to Pahadia on behalf of Indira Gandhi who was arrested that instead of offering arrest till further instructions, he should arrange peoples protest against arrest in Jaipur.Pahadia recalls that he was also arrested after two days and had turned down the offer of Jail authorities for a separate cell saying that he would be much happier with party workers.Without naming anybody, Pahadia writes that one former chief minister of Rajasthan had availed the facility of separate cell.
Book is interesting and inspiring story of a poor Dalit boy who braved all odds and moved ahead ,slowly but steadily, without losing his path, confidence and coverage, towards his gaols -education, freedom and honour. The boy born in a sleepy Hamlet in the erstwhile Princely state of Bhartpur rose to position of Union Minister, Chief Minister of Rajasthan and Governor of Bihar and presently of Haryana.Book is an honest account of events spread in sixty years of his life and will be of great use to contemporary historians and students of political science.