Thursday, 19 October, 2017

Pranab was better qualified to be PM, says Manmohan

HRD Minister presents to ex-President anthology of his convocation addresses Pranab Mukherjee was more qualified to become PM, had reasons to be upset, says Manmohan Singh
Melinda Barton | 13 October, 2017, 23:46

During the launch of his autobiography in Delhi today, former President Pranab Mukherjee revealed that he felt that he would be considered for the office of the Prime Minister if then PM Dr Manmohan Singh was chosen for the office of the President.

Speaking on the occasion, Javadekar said: "Our former President Pranab Mukherjee has always been our torchbearer". He said Pranab Mukherjee knew that neither he (Manmohan Singh) had the choice or any part in the decision. "I became a politician by accident when P V Narasimha Rao asked me to become the Finance Minister", he said. "Pranab ji was most qualified and had every reason to believe that he would be Prime Minister".

The book was formally released in the presence of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI General Secretary Sudhakar Reddy, DMK leader M.K. Kanimozhi and Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav.

Singh also said that he became a politician by accident, while Mukherjee "is a politician by choice".

Mukherjee wrote in his book that after the 2004 election victory there was intense speculation in the party about who would be the prime minister, but the consensus within the Congress was that the incumbent should be a political leader with experience in party affairs and administration.

However, Pranab Mukherjee who became President in 2012 had said at the time of his nomination for country's top constitutional post that he was not upset after being overlooked for Prime Minister's job. He said running the coalition government seemed hard but everything worked out smoothly.

The book launch saw Opposition parties coming together.

Speaking at the event, Mr Yadav said that a book about coalitions is very useful in the present context.