The spat between former President Pranab Mukherjee’s son and daughter over publishing his memoir continues , with former Congress MP Abhijit Mukherjee asserting on Wednesday that he had a legitimate right as a son to go through the manuscript before the final roll-out.
“Contrary to the opinion of some, I am not against the publishing of my father’s Memoir but I have requested D publisher to allow me to go through its contents before final roll out & I believe my request is quite legitimate & within my rights as his son,” Mr. Mukherjee said in his latest tweet.
“Had my father been alive, he too would have gone through it before the final roll out as he had done in the past too for his other volumes. Till then, & I repeat, till then, the publisher has been requested to stop publishing motivated excerpts to gain cheap publicity,” he added in another tweet.
The former Lok Sabha member’s tweet was a retort to his sister Sharmistha’s that the manuscript of the final volume of The Presidential Years was cleared by her father.
“The final draft contains my dad’s hand written notes & comments that have been strictly adhered to. The views expressed by him are his own & no one should try to stop it from being published for any cheap publicity. That would be the greatest disservice to our departed father,” Ms. Mukherjee tweeted on Tuesday, tagging her brother and asking him not to create hurdles.
She had tweeted after her brother had raised objections to the publication of the final volume of the memoir without being vetted by him.
On December 11, the publishers, Rupa, released an excerpt of the final volume, in which the late President talks about the Congress losing focus after his elevation as the country’s President, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi unable to handle the party and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being busy saving the government.
The excerpt also has a portion in which he describes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s functioning as “autocratic” in his first term.
Mr. Mukherjee had also revealed how many in the Congress believed that the 2014 results would have been different had he become the Prime Minister in 2004.
“Some members of the Congress have theorised that, had I become the PM in 2004, the party might have averted the 2014 Lok Sabha drubbing. Though I don’t subscribe to this view, I do believe that the party’s leadership lost political focus after my elevation as president. While Sonia Gandhi was unable to handle the affairs of the party, Dr. Singh’s prolonged absence from the House put an end to any personal contact with other MPs”, read one excerpt.
“I believe that the moral authority to govern vests with the PM. The overall state of the nation is reflective of the functioning of the PM and his administration. While Dr. Singh was preoccupied with saving the coalition, which took a toll on governance, Modi seemed to have employed a rather autocratic style of governance during his first term, as seen by the bitter relationship among the government, the legislature and the judiciary. Only time will tell if there is a better understanding on such matters in the second term of this government,” the former President had stated.