Pranab Mukherjee once told his daughter: Rahul Gandhi was ‘yet to mature politically’
In her upcoming book, Sharmistha discussed how the former President was certain that Sonia Gandhi wasn't going to make him the PM in 2004.
Late former President and Congress veteran Pranab Mukherjee once described Rahul Gandhi as “very courteous” and “full of questions” but he was “yet to mature politically”. In her upcoming book about her father's illustrious life, former Congress spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee wrote anecdotes from the former President's diary entries and personal stories narrated to her.
The book, In Pranab, My Father: A Daughter Remembers, referred to one of Pranab Mukherjee's diary entries in which he explained how he advised the Wayanad MP to join the Cabinet to get some first-hand experience in governance.
"During one of these visits on 25 March 2013, Pranab noted, 'He has an interest in a diverse range of subjects but moves very quickly from one subject to another. I don't know how much he listened and absorbed'," the book noted.
‘She will not make me the PM’
In one of the chapters, The PM India Never Had, Sharmistha recalled Pranab Mukherjee's response when she asked him about his chances to become the prime minister in 2004. Despite the full support from colleagues in the Congress and other parties in the coalition to Sonia Gandhi for the prime ministerial face after winning the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the then-president of the grand old party decided to step aside from the race. Gandhi's renouncement sparked speculations of possible PM faces.
"The names of Dr Manmohan Singh and Pranab were being discussed as the top contenders for the position. I did not have the chance to meet Baba for a couple of days as he was terribly busy, but I spoke to him over the phone. I asked him excitedly if he was going to become the PM. His response was blunt, 'No, she will not make me the PM. It'll be Manmohan Singh.' He added, ‘But she should announce it fast. This uncertainty is not good for the country’," Sharmistha wrote.
Responding to a reporter on whether her father harboured any disappointment for not being named as the next PM in 2004, the author wrote as saying, “If there's no expectation, there's no disappointment as well.”
(With PTI inputs)
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