New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi candidly admitted to the California Governor`s wife that her parents were against her marriage with Rajiv Gandhi, US embassy cables provided by WikiLeaks reveal.
Gandhi also told Maria Shriver, wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger, in August 2006 that she would “write a book someday with the whole story” as to why she did not take up the job of prime minister in 2004.
The cable on Gandhi-Shriver meeting, dated August 4, 2006 and marked “confidential”, is titled “A garrulous Sonia Gandhi opens up to Maria Shriver”, indicating how freely the Indian leader chatted away.
Shriver met Gandhi as part of her official visit to India. A reading of the cable indicates the conversation might have been taped by accompanying US embassy officials.
The cable says that Gandhi, who is “usually withdrawn and reserved in public … revealed a rare glimpse of herself” as she spoke about herself, women`s issues and compulsions of political life.
“Her comments and demeanour put the lie to cocktail party suggestions that she courts Manmohan Singh`s job,” the cable said.
The cable says: “Gandhi revealed that her own parents objected to her marriage to Rajiv Gandhi and she `resented their position` and went ahead and married him anyway.”
Rajiv Gandhi became prime minister in 1984 and was assassinated in 1991.
The cable said Gandhi was reluctant to provide details regarding her decision to turn down the prime minister`s post after the 2004 victory of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
“I am often asked about this, but tell people that I will write a book someday with the whole story,” she told Shriver.
“She would only say that she `felt better` that someone else became PM and `did not regret` her decision.
“She elaborated, at (former cabinet minister) Karan Singh`s insistence, saying she was under lots of pressure as `party workers` were `very upset`. They `could not understand` why she, as party president, was not taking up the post, since they had voted for her and won a majority.”