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Sujatha Singh: PMO wanted to have no reference of PM Modi in her letter

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New Delhi (Jan. 31, 2015): Former Foreign Secretary, Sujatha Singh, whose tenure was abruptly curtailed said her early retirement was rejected as she had made a reference to PM Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister's Office wanted her to remove the reference from the letter.

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 Foreign Secretary 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 said to a news channel. 

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.