Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Friday that ex-President Pranab Mukherjee had every reason to be aggrieved at being ignored for prime ministership despite being more qualified but he knew "I had no choice" in the matter, and that smoothened their relationship.
Terming the 10 years of UPA rule under Congress as "successful", former President Pranab Mukherjee said on Friday that his latest autobiography was an account of how an individual saw the political drama unfolding and tried to steer clear of any personal details.
Singh was speaking at the launch of former President Mukherjee's new book, 'The Coalition Years: 1996-2012, ' in New Delhi.
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Mukherjee wrote in his book that after the 2004 election victory there was intense speculation in the party about who would be the prime minister, but the consensus within the Congress was that the incumbent should be a political leader with experience in party affairs and administration.
"It was hard to have one coalition within and another outside". He said running the coalition government seemed hard but everything worked out smoothly. When Mr. Yechury described Pranab Da, as he fondly called the former President, as a "man with an elephant's memory", Congress president Sonia Gandhi sitting in the front row of the audience corrected it to "two elephants' memory".
The book, published by the National Book Trust, will be circulated to various higher learning institutes in the country, an official statement said. "We ran government as cohesive team of which Pranab Mukherjee was the most important member", he added.
Praising the book, Akhilesh Yadav said that it is like laying your hands on good notes before the examinations.
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