In a sensational disclosure, late President Pranab Mukherjee says in his much-talked-about autobiography – ‘The Presidential Years’, has revealed how former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru committed a major blunder by rejecting Nepal’s King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah’s offer that the Himalayan nation is made a province of India.
According to the reports, in the chapter titled, ‘My Prime Ministers: Different Styles, Different Temperaments’, late President Mukherjee wrote that Nehru dealt with Nepal very diplomatically. He noted that after the Rana rule was replaced by the monarchy in Nepal, he wished for democracy to take root.
Pranab Mukherjee in his autobiography added, “Interestingly, Nepal’s king, Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah, had suggested to Nehru that Nepal be made a province of India. But Nehru rejected the offer on the grounds that Nepal was an independent nation and must remain so.”
In the yet-to-be-published book written by late President Pranab Mukherjee, he writes that “had Indira Gandhi been in Nehru’s place, she would have perhaps seized upon the opportunity, like she did with Sikkim”. Sikkim was a kingdom which became part of India in 1975. On April 9, 1975, the Sikkim Parliament announced that the king was deposed. Through a referendum, Sikkim became part of India. On May 16, 1975, the Indian parliament announced that Sikkim officially became a state of India.
Expressing his views on the Former Prime Ministers and Presidents of India, late President Mukherjee reportedly writes, “Every PM has his or her own style of functioning. Lal Bahadur Shastri took positions that were very different from that of Nehru. There can be divergent perceptions among PMs, even if they happen to come from the same party, on issues such as foreign policy, security and internal administration.”
The memoir by Pranab Mukherjee has yet again ignited a debate regarding the cost India has been paying due to the strategic blunders that were committed during the Nehruvian era.
Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, during his tenure, not only made blunders by gifting territories to Pakistan and China but also responsible for India ceding territories with much crucial strategic significance. The indecisions of the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru has cost the country much more than just vast swathes of Jammu Kashmir, Ladakh, Coco Islands and many other strategic locations along the border including Tibet and Nepal.
Pranab Mukherjee slams Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi for Congress’ downfall
In the fourth volume of his autobiography titled, ‘The Presidential Years (2012-2017)’ former President Pranab Mukherjee had blamed the Congress party for losing its focus, after his elevation to the post of the President. The new book of Pranab Mukherjee, who passed away on August 31 this year, is slated to be released in January 2021.
In his book, President Mukherjee had made making scathing observations about his former party. The former President has narrated how several Congress leaders believed his lack of elevation to the post of the Prime Minister in 2004 was responsible for the defeat of the once-formidable Congress party in the 2014 General Elections.
Pranab Mukherjee recounted, “Some members of the Congress have theorized 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.”
In his book, President Mukherjee has blamed the top leadership of the Congress party for the debacle and reportedly says, “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.”
As per the book excerpts, Pranab Mukherjee pointed out how the lack of governance, on the part of Manmohan Singh who was busy in coalition politics, cost them the popular vote.
Family of Pranab Mukherjee clash over Prez Mukherjee’s book
As the excerpts of Mukherjee’s book, ‘The Presidential Years’ was released into the public domain ahead of its launch, the son and daughter of the former President had clashed in the public over the stunning disclosures made by their father in his book.
Abhijit Mukherjee, Pranab’s son, took to Twitter and raised concerns over the memoir, saying that he wants to go through the book before it goes for final printing. However, soon after Abhijit’s series of tweets, Pranab’s daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee responded on social media and mentioned that there was no need to create “unnecessary hurdles” in the publication of the book.
“I, daughter of the author of the memoir ‘The Presidential Years’, request my brother Abhijit Mukherjee not to create any unnecessary hurdles in the publication of the last book written by our father. He completed the manuscript before he fell sick,” Sharmistha had tweeted.