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Manmohan Singh felt comfortable in a secure govt job than temporary position in power

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Manmohan Singh displayed a wry sense of humour and complete candour at a function last week to release the five-volume collection of his speeches. The audience consisted largely of academics and friends and there were only half-a-dozen Congresspersons present. Singh recalled that he was as taken aback on being appointed finance minister as when he was declared prime minister by Sonia Gandhi. After I G Patel declined the offer to be FM, P C Alexander vaguely mentioned the possibility of Singh being chosen. Since there was nothing definite, Singh left for Geneva for a conference. When he was unpacking on his return, he received a frantic call from Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, insisting he come for the swearing-in ceremony. “Get yourself dressed up,” was Rao’s cryptic advice. Singh comes from a humble background and temperamentally felt more comfortable in a secure government job than a temporary position in power. For instance, when Indira Gandhi wanted him in her Cabinet, he demurred, since he would lose his pension and job security. As a compromise, he was appointed member-secretary in the........

© Indian Express