Updated: December 12, 2020 7:54:02 am
The late Pranab Mukherjee believed that the congressional leadership lost political focus after he became president, and that Manmohan Singh’s concern to save the UPA coalition impacted the government, according to excerpts from Mukherjee’s upcoming memoirs that were published by the book’s publisher, Rupa, on Friday, the anniversary of his birth.
According to Mukherjee, some congressional leaders believed that if he had become Prime Minister in 2004, the “beating” of 2014 could have been avoided. Narendra Modi’s style is “autocratic,” Mukherjee believed, according to the excerpts.
“Some members of Congress have theorized that if I had become prime minister in 2004, the party could have avoided the 2014 Lok Sabha beating. Although I do not subscribe to this view, I do believe that the party leadership he lost political focus after my elevation as president. While Sonia Gandhi was unable to handle party affairs, Dr. Singh’s long absence from the House put an end to any personal contact with other MPs, ”Mukherjee wrote.
Memoirs of the president, published by Rupa, will go on sale next month. Mukherjee passed away on August 31 at the age of 84.
“I believe that the moral authority to govern rests with the PM. The general state of the nation reflects the functioning of the Prime Minister and his administration, ”Mukherjee wrote, according to excerpts.
“While Dr. Singh was concerned with saving the coalition, which affected governance, Modi seemed to have employed a rather autocratic style of governance during his first term, as seen in the bitter relationship between the government, the legislature and the judiciary. Only time will tell if there will be a better understanding of these issues in the second term of this government. “
In the third volume of his memoirs, The Coalition Years, Mukherjee had revealed that he believed that it could have been the Congressional choice for Prime Minister even in 2012.
He recalled that Sonia Gandhi had told him on June 2, 2012 that he was the most eminently fit for the high post of the Presidency, but he should not forget the crucial role he was playing in the functioning of the UPA government. In fact, Sonia asked him to suggest an alternative name as the UPA presidential candidate.
“The meeting ended and I came back with the vague impression that she might want to consider Manmohan Singh as the UPA presidential candidate. I thought that if I selected Singh for the presidential office, he could choose me as prime minister. I had heard a rumor that he had seriously thought about this formulation while on vacation in the Kaushambhi Hills, ”Mukherjee had said in his book.
On Mukherjee’s memoir publishing feature, Singh had said: “He (Mukherjee) had every reason to feel a grievance for being better qualified than I to become Prime Minister (in 2004). But he also knew that I had no choice in the matter … I had every reason to believe that he should be the Prime Minister, that did not happen. But that didn’t affect our relationship and that solid and lasting friendship will last, will last as long as we both live. “
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