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Natwar Singh betrayed my trust: Sonia

Last updated on: October 26, 2006 20:15 IST

Breaking her long silence on Thursday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi attacked former external affairs minister K Natwar Singh. She said he had 'betrayed' her trust in him by 'misuing' the party's name in the oil-for-food scam in Iraq.

"As it became clearer that it was true that my colleague had misused the name of the party in some ways, I felt extremely betrayed," she said in an interview to NDTV, according to a release issued by the channel.

She was unforgiving about Singh, when she said "He was a colleague in whom I had placed trust and I felt very terribly betrayed."

This is the first time Gandhi has made her position on Singh clear, after the tabling of the report of the Justice Pathak Inquiry Authority, in which he and his son were indicted, in Parliament.

In her comments immediately after the controversy broke out late last year, Gandhi had said she had a 'close working relationship' with Singh and made it clear that anyone found involved in the scam would have to pay for it.

Singh had refrained from saying anything about Gandhi while he had attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and others in the party after the report was tabled.

Gandhi denied she is 'the power behind the throne', saying she enjoyed a relationship of mututal trust with Dr Singh.

Explaining her 'alleged' differences with the prime minister over the hike in petrol prices, she said, "I think there was a miscommunication about the exact figure, I mean it was no no problem at all. We are not competitors."

Asked about Dr Singh's reaction when he was told by her in 2004 that he is the prime ministerial choice, she said, "I think he is a person who keeps his emotions to himself. Also, I suppose he was rather surprised."

Gandhi spoke about the overwhelming fear that her family lived with after the late Rajiv Gandhi became prime minister. Her opposition to his decision was a 'mahayudh with him'.

Describing her meeting with Rajiv after Indira Gandhi was assassinated, she said, "My husband was away. He was in West Bengal. He arrived and came straight to the hopsital, it was a very difficult moment. He did say that is what was exepected of him and I did beg him not to take that responsibility. I did say that because I thought he would be killed, too. He replied he would be killed anyway."

When asked why she was never seen smiling when Rajiv was in office, Gandhi said, "I was a little frightened. I was very shy and I was worried about my husband's safety. And I think it's not true that I never smile. I smile but maybe people prefer other photographs."

She revealed that she did not not watch television during the elections, talked about how she treated 'pizza and past allegations' fired at her and what she felt about being compared to a jhola-carrying NGO worker.

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