Pranab Mukherjee was better qualified than me to become PM: Manmohan Singh

Pranab Mukherjee was better qualified than me to become PM: Manmohan Singh

The widow of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who belonged to the Nehru-Gandhi family, was invited by Congress leaders to take over the reins of the party after her husband's assassination in 1991, but she vehemently refused to lead it.

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.

"The prevalent expectation was that I would be the next choice for prime minister after Sonia Gandhi declined".

Mukherjee, in his speech at the book release function, decribed the Congress as a coalition in itself, as it brings all ideas on one platform. "But that was done", he said. He said running the coalition government seemed hard but everything worked out smoothly.

Speaking on the occasion of release of his latest series of his autobiography "The Coalition Years: 1996-2012", Mukherjee noted: "I can not claim to have the objectivity of a historian, which I am not".


Speaking at the event, Mr Yadav said that a book about coalitions is very useful in the present context. Mukherjee was an active participant in the contemporary developments that reshaped the course of the country's political, economic and social destiny.

The book, published by the National Book Trust, will be circulated to various higher learning institutes in the country, an official statement said. He said if the UPA government ran smoothly, a large measure of credit would go to Pranab Mukherjee. Mrs Gandhi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi were also part of the audience.

"So before the elections, we have got this book on coalition governments which may come handy", he said.

Yechury said Pranab Mukherjee has an "elephant-like memory", remark that prompted Sonia Gandhi to quip he had the memory of "two elephants".

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