Pranab Mukherjee, the chief Sonia Gandhi discovered ‘onerous to spare’

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 2

As Pranab Mukherjee’s mortal stays have been laid to relaxation on Tuesday, veteran Congress leaders remembered the stalwart who remained indispensable to the get together and the UPA authorities even when he might by no means develop into Prime Minister—the publish he overtly coveted.

When then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi declined to be PM after the get together staked declare to kind the federal government in 2004, the expectation was that Mukherjee can be the following selection for the publish. Sonia named Manmohan Singh as a substitute.

“This expectation of my being named PM was possibly based on the fact that I had extensive experience in government while Manmohan Singh’s vast experience was as a civil servant with five years as a reformist finance minister,” Mukherjee wrote in his final ebook, ‘The Coalition Years: 1996 to 2012’—admitting his ambition to be India’s prime minister.

Mukherjee talked about in the identical ebook that he was reluctant to work beneath Singh who had been his junior however he agreed to affix the UPA authorities after Sonia Gandhi cited his indispensability to the regime.

As it turned out, Singh would discuss to Mukherjee on all vital points and in Mukherjee’s personal phrases, “Manmohan Singh seemed to depend” on him.

While the late chief went on to develop into a key disaster supervisor for the UPA, his political astuteness got here in the best way of his nomination as a presidential candidate in 2007.

The Left Parties had introduced help for Mukherjee’s nomination for the highest workplace on the time with others seconding it and the choice was left to Sonia Gandhi.

She declined to let Mukherjee go and instructed him, “Your name is being suggested as a presidential candidate by some political parties but it would be difficult for us to spare you as you are a strong pillar of the party in the government and the Parliament.”

It was solely in 2012 that Mukherjee lastly bagged the coveted nomination and proceeded to Raisina Hill.

A quintessential Congressman all his life, Mukherjee wrote in his memoirs of how as a baby he nursed the ambition to develop into a member of the Congress Working Committee after studying biographical sketches of CWC members in his Rapid Reader Textbook at school in 1945.

“As a child, I nurtured the ambition to be a member of the CWC,” Mukherjee wrote.

He went on to serve the CWC from 1978 to 1986 and once more from 1991 till 2012 when he turned President of India.

The similar CWC bid him an emotional farewell earlier than he proceeded to occupy the best constitutional workplace of India.

At the June 25, 2012, meet of the CWC, Sonia Gandhi famously declared to her colleagues, “I believe, like me, all of you will miss Pranab ji in the meetings of the CWC where his visible presence was so impressive and effective that we cannot imagine having a CWC meeting without him. Along with that, of course, I will miss some of his tantrums.”

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