“conveyed” about Maran’s attempt to “browbeat him into doing a deal that would favour his brother Kalanidhi’s Sun TV” in early 2007 and the PM later “implemented Karunanidhi’s request” of allotting the telecom portfolio to Raja.
“He was himself incorruptible, and also ensured that no one in his immediate family ever did anything wrong, but he did not feel answerable for the misdemeanours of his colleagues and subordinates. In this instance, he felt even less because he was not the political authority that had appointed them to these ministerial positions,” Baru has written, referring to the “moral ambivalance” of Singh on the corruption charges against his government.
“In practice, this meant that he turned a blind eye to the misdeeds of his ministers… Dr Singh’s approach was a combination of active morality for himself and passive morality with respect to others,” the book has said.
That Singh did not exercise political authority is further underlined in the book when it points out how “after asserting himself for a full twenty-four hours, caved in to pressure of both his own party and the DMK” and again inducted Raja into the cabinet after the 2009 election victory.