New Delhi: The late former President of India Pranab Mukherjee, in the final volume of his yet to be released memoir, The Presidential Years, recollected the challenges he faced in his years as the President including 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.
In the memoir, Mukherjee reveals the relationship he shared with two politically opposed prime ministers during his tenure as the president.
“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,” Mukherjee wrote in the book.
He also presents a critical point of view for the Congress party. He candidly refutes the view of leaders of the party, who believed had Mukherjee become the Prime Minister 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 Singh’s prolonged absence from the House put an end to any personal contact with other MPs,” he wrote.
Filled with handwritten notes and rare pictures, the memoir offers a glimpse into the life of one of the most important and admired politicians of contemporary India.