Sanjay Baru blames Rajiv Gandhi for 1991 economic crisis in his book

Sanjay Baru: Former media advisor to Manmohan Singh

Media advisor to former premier Manmohan Singh has said heavy borrowing coupled with revoking support to Chandrasekhar-led government put the country on the brink of a crisis.

“Ex-premier Rajiv Gandhi alone was responsible for the 1991 crisis. The economic policies followed after 1985 and heavy external borrowing by Gandhi had hiked the fiscal deficit and Balance of Trade deficit, said Former media advisor to Manmohan Singh and senior journalist Sanjaya Baru.

“Many economists also flayed Gandhi’s fiscal management, but then a second factor contributing to the crisis was when the VP Singh government fell”, said Baru in his second book titled ‘1991: How PV Narasimha Rao Made History’.

That was when a Chandrashekhar-led minority government was sworn in with Congress support. Gandhi assured Chandrashekhar of letting his government pass the general budget. But before it could be tabled, Gandhi took away his support and didn’t allow Chandrashekhar to pass the budget, taking the country to the brink of a crisis, he added.

Baru said the reason behind writing this book on 1991 was that it was a “landmark year” and Rao was “man of the year”.

India’s image, which took a beating earlier, changed when PV Narasimha Rao ascended the PM’s chair and presented a major budget in industrial policy reform thereby changing the face of India. Though Rao led Congress government, the party mistreated him. It denied a Bharat Ratna to Rao and instead gave it to former Tamil Nadu CM MG Ramachandran.

“For a man who was PM for five years, elected president of the Congress, neither did they allow his body to come into the party HQ nor allowed his funeral to be held in Delhi. The Congress forgot one of its stalwarts,” he said while mentioning P.V. Narasimha Rao .

What was Rao’s crime—it was to end the control of Nehru-Gandhi family on the party. Singh is the only leader who kept Rao’s memory alive, but even he couldn’t bestow a Bharat Ratna on Rao.