Prominent Indian leader Pranab Mukherjee's daughter, Sharmistha Mukherjee, reveals intriguing insights into her father's perspectives on political figures in her upcoming book, 'Pranab, My Father — A Daughter Remembers.'
The book delves into Pranab Mukherjee's observations, including his criticism of Rahul Gandhi's role in the Congress and comparisons he drew between Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi.
Mukherjee, according to his daughter, deemed Rahul Gandhi "courteous" but "yet to mature politically."
His decision to vehemently oppose a proposed government ordinance in 2013, publicly criticising a Cabinet decision, was seen by Mukherjee as a detrimental move for the Congress's 2014 Lok Sabha election prospects.
Sharmistha recounts her father's disappointment, noting his diary entry that night, where he expressed concern over Rahul's actions, saying, "He has all the arrogance of his Gandhi–Nehru lineage without their political acumen."
She suggests that Mukherjee's faith in Rahul was shaken after this incident.
Furthermore, the book highlights Mukherjee's disappointment with Rahul's "frequent disappearing acts" and perceived lack of commitment to the demands of serious politics.
Sharmistha also details her father's belief that Narendra Modi, like Indira Gandhi, possessed a unique ability to connect with the people.
Regarding Manmohan Singh, Mukherjee reportedly considered awarding him the Bharat Ratna during his presidency, recognising Singh as a great economist. However, the award eventually went to others.
Sharmistha addresses the perceived preference of Sonia Gandhi for Manmohan Singh over her father, clarifying the misconceptions around Mukherjee's claim to the Prime Minister's post after the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
Despite a "trust deficit," Mukherjee developed a close working relationship with Sonia, praising her intelligence and dedication to overcoming weaknesses.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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