Sujatha Singh said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had informed her on January 28 afternoon that the PM wanted to appoint S Jaishankar as the Foreign Secretary.
Her offer to take early retirement was rejected as Prime Minister’s Office wanted to delete a reference that she was doing so on the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, whose tenure was abruptly “curtailed”, said on Saturday.
Singh said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had informed her on January 28 afternoon that the PM wanted to appoint S Jaishankar as the Foreign Secretary.
She said she had sent a letter on that evening seeking early retirement “as instructed by the Prime Minister”. But she got a call from the Prime Minister’s Office “asking me if I would consider deleting it (the words)…”
The former FS said she made it clear that “I would not” delete reference to the Prime Minister. “It was on the instructions of the Prime Minister and as a good civil servant, we follow instructions,” she told Karan Thapar on Headlines Today.
To a question, Singh claimed someone within the government was planting stories against her in the media and maintained that she does not believe in leaking privileged information to journalists.
The career diplomat made it clear that the “chapter was over” for her and she would concentrate on gardening and weaving, indicating that she was not looking for another opening.