Won’t comment on Pranab Mukherjee’s book before reading in full: Congress leaders

PTI, Dec 13, 2020, 5:58 PM IST


Bengaluru: Senior Congress leaders have said it’s premature to comment on the new book by late former President Pranab Mukherjee which presented a critical point of view for the party without reading it in full.

Former Union minister M Veerappa Moily, who was part of the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh, noted the book was yet to be released and one had to understand the context in which Mukherjee made the observations.

“Unless you go through the book and read in full, I don’t want to comment”, the former Karnataka Chief Minister told PTI.

The memoir, titled “The Presidential Years”, will be globally released in January 2021, publisher Rupa Books announced on Friday.

The former President presents a critical point of view for the Congress, in which he was a senior leader for over five decades.

Mukherjee candidly refutes the view of leaders of the party, who believed had he become the PM 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, according to excerpts from the book released by Rupa.

The book, according to the publisher, will recount his fascinating journey from growing up under the flicker of a lamp in a remote village of Bengal to walking the rampart of the Rasthrapati Bhavan as the first citizen of India.

Former Union minister Salman Khurshid also said he needs to read the book in full before offering comments.

“……because when somebody with such vast experience writes something, it’s generally something you need to read in full to understand what is the context”, Khurshid told PTI.

“You cannot take a phrase here or phrase there, that would be wrong”.

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