Manmohan Singh Cites Vajpayee's Example in Request to Modi to Not Cut Down His Assistant Staff

New Delhi: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh has reportedly written another letter to the PMO requesting reinstatement of the full 14-member staff given to him after the same request was earlier turned down.

Sources have told News18 that the PMO is yet to respond to the fresh request sent by Singh, who first got to know about his staff cut on May 25.

According to a report in Outlook, Singh’s staff was cut down from 14 to five — two personal assistants, one lower division clerk and two peons — four days before Modi returned to power for the second time. In a letter dated May 26, the PMO had reportedly conveyed to Singh that PM Modi had refused to entertain the request of the two-time Prime Minister.

During the tenure of ex-prime minister PV Narasimha Rao, it was decided that former PMs were entitled to 14-member staff, which included officers of the level of director, under-secretary and deputy secretary, apart from personal assistants and peons. The support staff was to be reduced from 14 to five after five years of retirement. But a waiver has since been issued by all serving PMs to their predecessors.

Waivers were granted to former prime ministers IK Gujral and HD Deve Gowda among others.

Top sources told News18 that Singh had conveyed to Prime Minister Modi that while the UPA headed by Singh was in power, full staff was allotted to his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee for the first five years, which was subsequently reduced to 12 as per requirements expressed by Vajpayee. Singh conveyed that similar sentiment was not being reciprocated.