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This "Nonsense" Jab Was Why Pranab Mukherjee Lost Faith In Rahul Gandhi

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Pranab Mukherjee's daughter told NDTV that while her father was critical of Rahul Gandhi, he would have "appreciated Rahul's dedication, tenacity, and the outreach during the Bharat Jodo Yatra".

In New Delhi, Sharmishtha Mukherjee, the daughter of the late Pranab Mukherjee, revealed to NDTV on Wednesday that her father was critical of Rahul Gandhi following his dismissive comments about an ordinance proposed by the Congress-led government in 2013. The incident, along with other occurrences like "frequent disappearing acts" and scheduling conflicts, eroded Pranab Mukherjee's confidence in Rahul Gandhi's leadership abilities, both within the party and the country, as detailed in her book "Pranab My Father."

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In 2013, the ordinance aimed to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that instantly disqualified convicted MPs and MLAs without a three-month appeal period. Rahul Gandhi criticized the ordinance, stating, "...what the government is doing on the ordinance is wrong... it was a political decision." Sharmishtha Mukherjee informed her father of this, and his disapproval was evident. While he eventually agreed with Rahul Gandhi in principle, he was upset about the manner of his protest, particularly considering Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was abroad.

Pranab Mukherjee's daughter stated that incidents like this led her father to believe Rahul Gandhi was "yet to mature politically," especially after the Congress's poor performance in 2014, and his frequent absences raised concerns about losing the battle of perception.

The book also touches upon Pranab Mukherjee's reactions to not being considered for the Prime Minister's post after the Congress's 2004 victory. Sharmishtha Mukherjee revealed that her father, although desiring the position, recognized his limitations and the trust issues with Sonia Gandhi. Despite being passed over for the role, his relations with Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh remained unstrained.

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