Prakash Javadekar presents book 'Guru-Sangraha' to Shri Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee was more qualified to become PM, had reasons to be upset, says Manmohan Singh

Pranab Mukherjee would have been a better Prime Minister: Manmohan Singh at former President's autobiography launch

Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday made a candid admission that he thought former President Pranab Mukherjee had reasons to be upset when he was appointed as the prime minister of the country in 2004.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar presented a book "Guru-Sangraha" which is a compilation of convocation addresses given by Shri Pranab Mukherjee to Shri Pranab Mukherjee, former President of India in New Delhi today. "He had every reason to be disappointed when I was chosen but he knew I had no choice in the matter", he said. Dr Singh said that Pranab Mukherjee was a politician by choice and it came naturally to him.

"Then came 2004 when Soniaji chose me as the Prime Minister and Pranabji was the most distinguished colleague that I had". Pranab ji was the most distinguished colleague that I had. The widow of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who belonged to the Nehru-Gandhi family, was invited by Congress leaders to take over the reins of the party after her husband's assassination in 1991, but she vehemently refused to lead it.

Mukherjee also said that when he declined to join the government headed by Manmohan Singh, Sonia insisted on his being a part of it as he would be "vital to its functioning and also be of support of Singh".

The Congress party helped Pranab Mukherjee in becoming the President of the country in 2012. "This expectation was possibly based on the fact that I had extensive experience in government", he wrote. He said running the coalition government seemed hard but everything worked out smoothly.

Speaking at the event, Mr Yadav said that a book about coalitions is very useful in the present context.

"Therefore that smoothened our relationship".

The book launch saw Opposition parties coming together.

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