The publisher of former Samata Party president Jaya Jaitley’s autobiography, Life Among the Scorpions: Memoirs of a Woman in Indian Politics, promises that book is a bare-all account. The book is to be launched on Tuesday. In her autobiography, Jaitly, an associate of socialist leader and former defence minister George Fernandes, accuses the Congress of having a hand in the Tehelka sting “Operation West End”. The sting led to Fernandes’ resignation from the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led Union Cabinet.
According to Rupa, the publisher, Jaitly claims in the book that Congress President Sonia Gandhi wrote to then finance minister P Chidambaram, when the United Progressive Alliance was in power, to ensure that the alleged financiers of Tehelka were not treated in an “unfair” or “unjust” manner. The book contains a reproduced copy of that letter, the publisher says. Jaitly also criticises her former Samata Party colleague, Nitish Kumar, for reneging on his promise to give Fernandes a Rajya Sabha seat. She claims that during the 2002 Gujarat riots, then chief minister Narendra Modi was in constant touch with Fernandes, who was then defence minister of India.