In a highly anticipated literary release, Sharmistha Mukherjee, the former Congress spokesperson, offers an intimate exploration of the political odyssey of her late father, Pranab Mukherjee. The book, titled “In Pranab, My Father: A Daughter Remembers,” scheduled for launch on December 11, promises to unravel the layers of political intrigue, ambitions, and pivotal moments that defined Pranab Mukherjee’s illustrious career.
One of the pivotal chapters of the book delves into the enigmatic year of 2004 when Sonia Gandhi withdrew from the race for the Prime Ministership. Sharmistha recounts a poignant moment when she questioned her father about the possibility of him assuming the role. His cryptic yet profound response, “No, she will not make me the PM,” unfolds a narrative that transcends political nuances.
The narrative unfolds Pranab Mukherjee’s lack of resentment towards Sonia Gandhi for the decision and his unswerving respect for the eventual choice, Dr. Manmohan Singh, as the Prime Minister. Through a meticulously crafted tapestry of Mukherjee’s personal diaries, Sharmistha’s recollections, and comprehensive research, the book paints a vivid portrait of a political luminary navigating through the complexities of Indian politics.
The chapter titled “The PM India Never Had” recreates the tense atmosphere following Sonia Gandhi’s withdrawal. The media and political circles were abuzz with speculation, with Dr. Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee emerging as frontrunners. Sharmistha captures her father’s candid response, “No, she will not make me the PM. It’ll be Manmohan Singh.” This revelation provides readers with an insider’s view of the political dynamics that shaped crucial decisions during that period.
The book ventures beyond this critical juncture, exploring Pranab Mukherjee’s unfulfilled aspiration to become India’s Prime Minister and the intricate web of relationships within the Nehru-Gandhi family. Sharmistha delves into her father’s nuanced perspectives on Rahul Gandhi’s political journey, revealing facets of a seasoned politician imparting wisdom to the next generation.
Pranab Mukherjee’s legacy, as chronicled in the book, extends beyond his roles as India’s Finance Minister, External Affairs Minister, Defence Minister, and ultimately, the 13th President. His daughter’s narrative weaves together threads of ambition, resilience, and political acumen that defined Mukherjee’s contributions to Indian governance.