Pranab da had "every reason to feel a grievance that he was better qualified" : Manmohan Singh


The last President of India, Pranab Da, also known as ‘Poltu’ by his near dear ones, launched the third volume of his autobiography, ‘The Coalition Years, 1996-2012’ this Friday.

The event was attended by the Leftist and Centre-Left parties, including, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Sitaram Yechury, and Akhilesh Yadav along with ex-PM, Manmohan Singh.

In his book, Pranab Da has very honestly revealed that after a meeting with Ms Sonia Gandhi, he had the apprehension that she may choose Manmohan Singh to be the President, in which case he may be made the Prime Minister.

The response given to this remark by Manmohan singh has been one of exceptional caution where he declares that Pranab Da was in any case a man of greater experience and he was politician by choice not by accident like Mr Singh himself.

This book launch saw a series of discussions by ex-colleagues sharing jokes and laughter at a time when the opposition is trying to re-invent itself. The event was attended by the entire left leaning parties.

The lucid and the reserved manner in which Mr Singh talked about the internal dynamics of the UPA, is not to be perceived as a strong show. Pranab Da just shared his thoughts while Manmohan Singh got down to disaster management mode immediately when he was seen appreciating Sharad Pawar and Pranab Da for their mentoring and guidance in running the UPA as a ‘cohesive unit’, where the PM did not know that his Telecom Minister, A Raja had indulged in a serious scam in allocation of spectrum. What a cohesive unit it may have been.

Mr Mukherjee openly talked about Ms Gandhi’s letter wherein she asked for suggestions from Pranab Da, for the post of the PM, as he had been playing a crucial role in the functioning of the government.

Pranab Da was a prominent and short-tempered leader, this was known to many. He had once sent the External Affairs Minister of Pakistan back from the airport without even receiving him in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.

Manomhan Singh on the other side says that he had no choice in the matter and plays a trick where he is just learnt to have done something which is not to be read as a measure of professional rivalry.  The tone of Mr Manmohan Singh is that of gratitude and helplessness, though actually it should not have been  the case.

The narrative is very well-known to the public that Mr Manmohan Singh was a mere ‘rubber-stamp’ or ‘puppet PM’ for Ms Gandhi who could not become the PM herself.

Pranab Da also said lauded the bold moves taken by the present BJP establishment to improve the economy of the nation but has said that a better result may be obtained when  we work individual countries to know about the data of the money stashed abroad.

This remains a well-known fact that Pranab Da had always been very self-styled and a persona demanding respect, and Ms Gandhi would have never chosen him to be the PM, as he would have side-lined her.

Though this remains a unanimous fact that had he held the post of the PM in UPA, the present would have been much different.

His secular credentials are very well-known as he never favoured just one community but advocated equal treatment to all the communities.

The Party that is trying to re-work its image, may not be able to put up a good show when the carefully crafted words of Pranab Da actually make some sense to the intelligent Indian.




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