Did you know it was Ahmed Patel who was entrusted by Sonia Gandhi to relay to the family of ex-PM P V Narasimha Rao that his funeral rites will not be taking place in Delhi. Sanjaya Baru, media advisor to former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in his book ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ had made the revelation. Baru said Ahmed Patel approached him to let PV Narasimha Rao’s son know about Sonia Gandhi’s message. However, Baru refused to do so.
Eventually, though, PV Narasimha Rao’s mortal remains were flown to Hyderabad but not before he was insulted even in death as his body was not allowed to enter Congress headquarters at 24, Akbar Road.
Sonia Gandhi wasn’t particularly fond of PV Narasimha Rao and in his death, she trusted her close confidante Ahmed Patel to do the dirty work for her. Patel, too, like many other senior Congress leaders was not too fond of Rao. P V Narasimha Rao was the first prime minister outside the Nehru-Gandhi family to complete a full term of five years. He had become the PM in 1991 due to the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi during the elections.
Former Congress President and Rahul Gandhi’s mother Sonia Gandhi loathed former Prime Minister and Congress President P.V. Narasimha Rao enough to not allow his mortal remains to enter the AICC (All India Congress Committee) compound. His body stayed parked in a carriage outside the gate. Only one person could have given orders to open the gates of Congress headquarters and Sonia Gandhi did not do so.
PV Narasimha Rao, who was hailed by Dr Manmohan Singh as “father of economic reforms in India” did not even receive a state funeral. In fact, leaders like Sanjay Gandhi, who presided over horrendous programs such as forced sterilisation during the Emergency was honoured with a state funeral and a samadhi in Delhi. However, PV Narasimha Rao was not considered by the Congress leadership, headed by Sonia Gandhi, of worthy enough to deserve a state funeral and a samadhi in Delhi. Sonia Gandhi, it is believed, was ‘upset‘ about the way the investigation on Rajiv Gandhi assassination had proceeded.
When Rao’s pyre burnt in Hyderabad, it was shown on television. With his body half-burnt, stray dogs were pulling at the pyre.
Ahmed Patel, Sonia’s closest aide, passed away this morning due to coronavirus related complications.