Late President Pranab Mukherjee’s memoir is all set to release next year globally. The memoir titled, ‘The Presidential Years’ is said to give the reader a glimpse into the former President’s childhood and especially political career with the Indian National Congress.
One of the most sought and celebrated politicians in contemporary politics, in his book, Pranab Mukherjee, has apparently blamed the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi for the party’s 2014 defeat.
The book has him recalling his journey right from his childhood years in Bengal to walking the Rampart of the Rashtrapati Bhavan as India’s 13th President.
The book further states how some party members were in belive that INC had won the election had Pranab Mukherjee run for the post of the Prime Minister.
“Some members of the Congress have theorized that, had I become the PM in 2004, the party might have averted the 2014 Lok Sabha drubbing. Though I don’t subscribe to this view, I do believe that the party’s leadership lost political focus after my elevation as president. While Sonia Gandhi was unable to handle the affairs of the party, Dr Manmohan Singh’s prolonged absence from the House put an end to any personal contact with other MPs,” Mukherjee writes, according to excerpts from “The Presidential Years” released by publishers Rupa.
Pranab Mukherjee was made the Union Minister literally every time INC retained power in the Lok Sabha.
Dr Mukherjee also compares the two Prime Ministers he worked with – Manmohan Singh and his successor Narendra Modi.
“I believe that the moral authority to govern vests with the PM. The overall state of the nation is reflective of the functioning of the PM and his administration. While Dr Singh was preoccupied with saving the coalition, which took a toll on governance, Modi seemed to have employed a rather autocratic style of governance during his first term, as seen by the bitter relationship among the government, the legislature and the judiciary. Only time will tell if there is a better understanding on such matters in the second term of this government,” he writes.
The book further goes on to recount the challenges he had to conquer to ensure his personal views as the President and the decisions of the party in power go hand in hand.
The publishers call the book a “deeply personal account” in which Dr Mukherjee describes “the difficult decisions he had to make and the tightrope walk he had to undertake to ensure that both constitutional propriety and his opinion were taken into consideration”.
Pranab Da passed away this year in August at 84 years of age, days after a brain surgery after testing positive for Covid-19.
Dr Mukherjee was most sought by Sonia Gandhi for the role of PM when, back in 2005, she refused to take up the top job. However, she picked up Manmohan Singh and in some way or the other governed the country.