Pranab’s household spars over his memoirs

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 15

Late President Pranab Mukherjee’s children are on the warpath over the publication of his memoirs that appear to contain certain negative references to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

In a dramatic turn of events today, Mukherjee’s son and former Congress MP Abhijit Mukherjee wrote to Rupa Publications, asking it to stop the publication of the book “The Presidential Years”. The book is slated for a launch in January 2021.

Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmishtha, who has custody of his diaries, however, snubbed her brother, saying he should not do disservice to their father for some “cheap publicity”.

“I, daughter of the author of the memoir ‘The Presidential Years’, request my brother @ABHIJIT_LS not to create any unnecessary hurdle in the publication of the last book written by our father. He completed the manuscript before he fell sick. The final draft contains my dad’s handwritten notes and comments that have been strictly adhered to. The views expressed by him are his own and no one should try to stop it from being published for any cheap publicity. That would be the greatest disservice to our father,” she said. Her reaction came after her brother earlier tweeted tagging Rupa, “I, the son of the author of ‘The Presidential Years’ request you to kindly stop the publication of the memoirs as well as motivated excerpts which are already floating around certain media platforms without my written consent.” Abhijit said his father would have done the same had he been alive.

Last week, Rupa released excerpts from the book in which Mukherjee blames Sonia and Manmohan Singh for the party’s dismal 2014 showing.

The late President writes, “Some members of the Congress have theorized that, had I 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 leadership lost political focus after my elevation as President.”

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