This Sunday, on the release of his book, ‘President Pranab Mukherjee—A Statesman’, the president divulged his views regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In the tail end of his tenure, President Pranab Mukherjee confessed that his work relationship with the actual head of the administration was one of “agree to disagree”, as they disagreed on numerous instances. But “divergence of views” did not affect their relationship. Most of the times, they kept minor differences to themselves and acted in close coordination to avoid any disparities at work. On a positive note, the administration was “never disturbed, never stopped, never delayed”, claimed Mukherjee.
Mukherjee’s book is a photographic record of his presidency. Mukherjee’s book is a photographic record of his presidency. At first, the president was hesitant to write the book but, was finally convinced of its importance.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley played an instrumental role in bridging minor discrepancies between the titular head and the administrative head. The president recalled old times when he called the finance minister to satisfy his doubts. Like an adept advocate, Jaitley had convinced him regarding the Center’s decision. Finally, he had to concede to his smart reasoning. This confession came around three weeks before Mukherjee’s scheduled departure from the Rashtrapati Bhawan. For those who don’t know, the president will demit office on July 24 this year.
In January this year, the president issued a cautionary note on the PM’s decision of demonetizing high-value currency, saying that this would slow down the Indian economy and adversely affect the poor, especially daily workers. Last year in December, the president was unhappy with issuing of the enemy property ordinance for the fifth time. He had warned the government against bringing unrequited ordinances, which should be brought only in unusual conditions. Regardless of this he finally gave his consent to it, after analyzing the pros and cons of the decree.
Surely there have been differences in opinions, but both the head were able to keep it aside, only to themselves. It did not interfere with their work relationship. On the whole, the president was satisfied with the Center’s performance. Both Modi and Mukherjee have appreciated each other countless times, a fact that was evident again on the book release, this Sunday.
Modi, who sees Mukherjee as a father figure, said that he was lucky to have been guided by the president. Mukherjee helped him settle in Delhi during his tenure and treated the PM like a son. Recalling particular instances, Modi quoted a few examples of his care. Mukherjee counseled him like a father: ‘Why are you always in a rush,’ ‘You must rest for half a day,’ ‘Take care of your health’…
Modi commented that the presidency is much more than protocol. Mukherjee may be a confident leader, but his innocent laughter and caring nature define the human he is. Knowing that India has never been conscious of its history, the prime minister lauded the idea behind the book. Chronicling important events is essential to understand the history of a country. It helps the younger generations in learning about the past.
Modi commented that the presidency is much more than protocol. Mukherjee may be a confident leader, but his innocent laughter and caring nature define the human he is. Knowing that India has never been conscious of its history, the prime minister lauded the idea behind the book. Chronicling important events is essential to understand the history of a country. It helps the younger generations in learning about the past. Saying so, the PM took this opportunity to appreciate the inner qualities of the President.
Now that the presidential elections are just around the corner, we sincerely hope for the newly elected president to share the same bond with the prime minister and the union cabinet. Coordination between the leaders is an important tool for effective governance.