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Opinion

Pranab Mukherjee’s son does not want his book published. Daughter does not agree

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Days after Rupa publishing house announced the release next year of the latest volume of memoirs on the late President Pranab Mukherjee, a difference of opinion appears to have emerged among his sons. His son and former Lok Sabha member, Abhijit Mukherjee, has demanded that publication be stopped until he approves the final manuscript. His daughter and congressional spokesperson, Sharmistha Mukherjee, took to Twitter to declare that the book was not only approved by her father, but that Abhijeet should refrain from doing “cheap advertising”.

It all started Tuesday afternoon when the former Bengal MP sent a series of tweets to Rupa Books editor Kapish Mehra. Referring to excerpts from the book that were released on Friday, Mukherjee said they were “motivated” and that the former president would not have approved them.

Hindustan Times reached out to executives at the publisher, but they declined to comment publicly on the matter for now. On condition of anonymity, an executive told the Hindustan Times that President Mukherjee had approved not only the final draft of the manuscript, but also the cover design a day before his admission to the hospital.

Mukherjee was admitted to hospital on August 10 for surgery to remove a clot in his brain after falling at his Rajaji Marg residence in Delhi. A former congressional politician who served as the thirteenth president of India from 2012 to 2017, also tested positive at the same time. Mukherjee died on August 31 at the age of 84.

Rupa had published some excerpts from The Presidential Years on Friday, in which he blames the head of Congress Sonia Gandhi and then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the devastating defeat of the party in the 2014 general election. In the book, he also writes that Prime Minister Narendra Modi used an autocratic style of government during his first term in power.

“While Dr. Singh was concerned about saving the coalition, which affected governance, Modi seemed to have employed a rather autocratic style of governance during his first term, as seen in the bitter relationship between the government, the legislature and the judiciary, ”he wrote in the book, according to published excerpts. “Only time will tell if there is a better understanding of these issues in the second term of this government.”

In his tweets on Tuesday, Abhijit Mukherjee addressed editor Kapish Mehra to say: “Since my father is no more, I, being his son, want to review the content of the final copy of the book before publication, as I believe, had my father. been alive today, he too would have done the same. He added, “I ask that you immediately stop posting without my written consent until I review your content! I have already sent you a detailed letter about it that will arrive soon ”.

Even before Rupa figured out how to respond to this, Pranab’s daughter responded to her brother’s attempt to suppress the post. “I, the daughter of the author of the memoirs ‘The Presidential Years’, I ask my brother @ABHIJIT_LS not to create unnecessary obstacles in the publication of the last book written by our father. He completed the manuscript before he got sick. The final draft contains my parents’ handwritten notes and comments that have been strictly adhered to. The opinions expressed by him are his and no one should try to prevent him from being posted for cheap publicity. That would be the greatest detriment to our deceased father, ”he wrote.

“By the way brother, the title of the book is ‘The Presidential Years’, not ‘The Presidential Memories'”, he concluded.

A former Rashtrapati Bhawan official who interacted with the two during his presidency said the brothers shared “a difficult relationship.” Also in the past, Sharmistha has not been afraid to criticize her brother when he called the female protesters of the December 2012 mafia “dented and painted”. While Sharmishtha was staying with her father in Rashtrapati Bhawan, Abhijit would visit her. said the assistant.

The book, to be published early next year, is the fourth of Mukherjee’s memoirs, the first of which was published in 2014, when he was still at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The executive quoted above said the former president had first signed a deal with Rupa in 2013. The last book contract was signed in 2018, he said, adding: “Mr. Abhijit Mukherjee was nowhere to be found.”

An official who worked with the former president confirmed to the Hindustan Times that Mukherjee had approved the publication of the latest volume. He confirmed that Sharmishta was much more aware of the contents of the book than his brother, the official said.

The Congress Party said that this issue has nothing to do with the party.

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