At a time when Congress faces relentless internal criticism of its top leadership after a series of electoral defeats, the final volume of Pranab Mukherjee’s memoir, due out soon, may spark further debate. The former president, who died in August, appears to blame former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Speaker Sonia Gandhi for the party’s defeat in 2014. He also writes that “some members of Congress” believed that if he had been Prime Minister, the party would not have lost power.
“Some members of Congress have theorized that if I had become prime minister in 2004, the party might have avoided the 2014 Lok Sabha beating. Although I do not subscribe to this view, I believe that the party leadership lost political focus afterwards. of my elevation as president. While Sonia Gandhi was unable to handle party affairs, Dr. (Manmohan) Singh’s prolonged absence from the House put an end to any personal contact with other MPs, “writes Dr. Mukherjee, according to excerpts from “The Presidential Years” published by Rupa publishing house.
In the book, to be published in January, Pranab Mukherjee, who was a Union minister in nearly every congressional government until he assumed the presidency in 2012, discusses why Congress collapsed in the 2014 general election.
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 rule rests with the prime minister. The general state of the nation reflects the functioning of the prime minister and his administration. While Dr. Singh was concerned with saving the coalition, which affected governance, Modi appeared to have employed a rather autocratic style of government during his first term, as seen in the bitter relationship between the government, the legislature, and the judiciary. Only time will tell whether there will be a better understanding of these issues in the second term of this government, “he writes.
The book, sources say, reflects on his controversial decisions to impose the president’s rule in various states, which were overturned by the Supreme Court, and his role in the 2016 shock demonetization.
The editors 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 constitutional property was taken into consideration as your opinion. “
Dr. Mukherjee died at age 84 in August, days after brain surgery after testing positive for Covid.
Often called “the best prime minister India ever had,” Dr. Mukherjee addressed his complicated relationship with the leaders of Congress even in his previous books.
He was expected to be Sonia Gandhi’s choice for prime minister after she refused to take the top job in 2004. But he chose Manmohan Singh.
In 2017, at the launch of an earlier installment of Dr. Mukherjee’s book, Manmohan Singh had noted that he was “correctly upset when I was appointed Prime Minister.” He said, “He had a reason to be upset, but he respected me and we have a great relationship that will continue until we live.”