Former West Bengal Governor and National Security Adviser MK Narayanan on Tuesday tore into shreds the controversial film The Accidental Prime Minister and castigated the author of the book on which the film is based, Mr Sanjaya Baru, a media adviser to then PM Manmohan Singh. He also criticised the handling of the ongoing internal feud in the top echelons of the CBI and the selection and rejection of CBI director. Mr Narayanan, a former IPS officer, was speaking at a programme of the Bharat Chamber of Commerce.
During a question-answer session, he said, “I don’t want to discuss Mr Baru who is a turncoat. His book is replete with lies and 80 per cent of the content is false.”
“He was a media adviser to then Prime Minister Mr Manmohan Singh, but could not manage the media and then ran away. He was nobody in the government and he had written the book during elections to earn money,” said Mr Narayanan, known as “spy master” of Indian intelligence. Based on the memoir by Mr Baru, the film purportedly explored Mr Singh’s tenure as PM and the latter’s control over his Cabinet and the country.
Incidentally, Mr Narayanan also figured in the book and the film. The former NSA of the first UPA government also expressed grave concern over the ongoing impasse in the CBI and questioned the role played by the chief vigilance commissioner (CVC) in the investigation of allegations against Mr Alok Verma, who has been removed from the post of CBI director under controversial circumstances.
“It’s a matter of great concern. The crisis which had also happened earlier got solved within itself. The dissentions are among the top orders in the CBI. The process of selection in the agency should be reviewed and I doubt what the CVC (Central vigilance Commission) knows about it,” he felt. “The Rafale controversy is a political issue and I won’t comment on it. The Opposition parties are claiming that the Prime Minister did not follow all procedures of the contract,” he added.
Mr Narayanan also shared with the audience his interactions with former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and present CM Mamata Banerjee. During his tenure as Governor of West Bengal from 2010 to 2014, Mr Narayanan had “a better relationship” with Mr Bhattacharjee’s Left Front government.
“I had an extremely great experience working during the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee regime in Bengal. He was very meticulous on constitutional issues. He never blocked his ministers and officials to meet me as and when it was required. Both he and I used to talk regularly,” he said when asked about his relationship as a constitutional head with the chief ministers in the state.
“I had no problem working with Mamata Banerjee as chief minister. She is a difficult person but she has remarkable qualities,” he said.