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PMO wanted Sujatha Singh to delete Modi’s reference in her letter

Former foreign secretary, Sujatha Singh said on Saturday her offer to take early retirement was rejected as the Prime Minister’s Office wanted to delete a reference that she was doing so, on the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Singh’s tenure was abruptly “curtailed”.

Singh said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed her on Wednesday afternoon that the PM wanted to appoint S Jaishankar as the Foreign Secretary.

Singh said she had sent a letter 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 a political engagement.

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