“PM Modi must listen to the dissenting voices”- says Pranab Mukherjee in his The Presidential Years

“He must listen to the dissenting voices and speak more often in Parliament. He must use it as a forum to disseminate his views to convince the Opposition and inform the nation.” reveals the final volume of the late Former President Pranab Mukherjee’s autobiography “The Presidential Years 2012-2017”. For him. Modi’s stopover in Lahore was unnecessary and uncalled.

The book which was released on January 5, was earlier held back Dr. Mukherjee’s son and former Congress MP Abhijit Mukherjee over its contentious content. Though his daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee (Congress Party’s official spokesperson) supported her father’s book all out.

“I was not informed about Demonetisation”

The late former president has mentioned about crucial decisions taken the Modi government particularly demonetization. He said that PM Modi had not discussed this issue with him prior to the announcement. “I learnt of demonetization like the rest of the country.” It was after the announcement when Modi called on him to explain the rationale behind the step. Though Dr. Mukherjee questions the rationale, he does not criticize demonetization in particular.

‘Reflections on Parliament: Value of Dissent and Power’

The former president has penned down many personal observations during his tenure as the President of India in his book. On PM Modi, he said, “Sadly, the Narendra Modi led NDA government, during its first term in 2014-19, failed in its primary responsibility to ensure the smooth and proper functioning of Parliament.”

presidential years
An excerpt from The Presidential Years 2012-2017

‘Elections 2014: Not a turning point, but historic’

In Chapter 2 of his book, Pranab Mukherjee has written: ‘I had expected a hung Parliament with the BJP emerging as the single-largest party with about 195200 seats. In such a situation, it would have been my constitutional responsibility to ensure stability.”

“Had the Congress emerged with fewer seats but promised a stable government, I would have invited the leader of the party to form the government, keeping in mind their previous track record in managing coalition governments successfully,”.

Also Read : Remembering “A Man of All Seasons” – Former President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee

Congress’s Poor Leadership failed to hold on to its Allies

Dr. Mukherjee wrote, “…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.”

“I believe that the leadership of a party in times of crisis has to evolve a different approach. If I had continued in the government as finance minister, I would have ensured Mamata’s continuity in the coalition,” he has written.

‘There’s nothing called Personal Friendship’

In the context of his relationship with international and world leaders, Pranab Mukherjee opposes the idea of personal friendship. Friendship, he feels, is always between countries. “Special friendships have no worth in international relations. PM Modi plays up on these personal equations a bit too much, and to take such relations as true is absurd.”