Modi 'Achieved' Prime Ministership, Manmohan Singh Was Offered: Pranab Mukherjee in Memoir
'The Presidential Years' is the fourth book authored by Pranab Mukherjee who passed away last year (File photo/PTI)
Pranab Mukherjee said that during his tenure as the President of India, he had the opportunity to work with two PMs, Dr Manmohan Singh from July 2012 to May 2014 and Narendra Modi from May 2014 till his retirement in July 2017.
- News18.com Kolkata
- Last Updated: January 05, 2021, 20:42 IST
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Narendra Modi achieved prime ministership, while Manmohan Singh was offered the same, the late Pranab Mukherjee wrote while making a comparison of the two PMs in his autobiography which was released on Tuesday.
The former president made the comments in his memoir The Presidential Years, 2012-2017 which he wrote before his death last year. “I have had the good fortune of interacting with and studying closely several PMs of India since Independence. They were different in mannerism, charisma, style and approach to governance. They came from different socio-economic backgrounds and some of them subscribed to widely distinct political ideologies,” he said.
He said that during his tenure as the President of India, he had the opportunity to work with two PMs, Dr Manmohan Singh from July 2012 to May 2014 and Narendra Modi from May 2014 till his retirement in July 2017.
“The route to prime ministership for the two PMs I worked with was very different. Dr Singh was offered the post by Sonia Gandhi… Modi, on the other hand, became PM through popular choice after leading the BJP to a historic victory in 2014. He is a politician to the core and had been named the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate as the party went into campaign mode. He was then Gujarat’s CM and had built an image that seemed to click with the masses. He has earned and achieved the prime ministership,” Mukherjee wrote.
Recalling the time Sonia Gandhi declined the post of the PM after the UPA’s victory in 2004 elections, Mukherjee said, “She had been chosen as the prime ministerial candidate by the Congress Parliamentary Party and other constituents of the UPA, but she declined the offer. The issue of her foreign origin was being heatedly debated in the public domain.”
He said that despite requests from Congress leaders, Sonia Gandhi refused to become the PM and was later asked to announce a party leader’s name as the next PM. “Sonia Gandhi named Dr Singh and others accepted her choice. He was essentially an economist, though he had spent time in government as a minister and in politics as a Rajya Sabha member. But he had determination and a strong sense of propriety. He had a steely willpower, which he demonstrated during the civil nuclear deal that India finalized with the US, despite opposition from various quarters, including certain parties that supported the government from outside. He did well as a PM,” the former Union minister said.