Former President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijeet Mukherjee on Wednesday said that he was not against the publishing of his father’s memoir, but had requested the publisher to hold the book till he went through its contents. Abhijit Mukherjee posted new tweets in the morning, a day after his spat with sister Sharmishtha Mukherjee over the book.
“Contrary to the opinion of some, I am not against the publishing of my father’s Memoir but I have requested the publisher to allow me to go through it’s contents before final roll out and I believe my request is quite legitimate and within my rights as his son,” he tweeted.
Abhijit Mukherjee added that his father would have also read through the contents of the book, had he been alive. “Till then and I repeat, till then, the publisher has been requested to stop publishing motivated excerpts to gain cheap publicity,” he added.
The excerpts of the fourth volume of Pranab Mukherjee’s memoir The Presidential Years was shared by Rupa on December 11. The book is scheduled to be released in January.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Abhijit Mukherjee said that “motivated excerpts” from his father’s book were circulating on “certain media platforms” without his consent. He urged the book’s publisher Rupa to stop publication till he went through it.
Sharmishtha Mukherjee, meanwhile, accused her brother of creating “unnecessary hurdles” in the publication of the book. “The views expressed by him [Pranab Mukherjee] are his own and no one should try to stop it from being published for any cheap publicity,” she said. “That would be the greatest disservice to our departed father.”
In his memoir, Mukherjee holds Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh responsible for the party’s devastating loss in the 2014 General Election. According to the excerpts, he had said that many Congress members believed that the results may have been different if he were the prime minister. “I do believe that the party’s leadership lost political focus after my elevation as president,” he wrote in the book.
Senior Congress leaders dismissed the critical points of the memoir, saying it was premature to comment without reading it fully, according to PTI. “When somebody with such vast experience writes something, it’s generally something you need to read in full to understand what is the context,” former Union minister Salman Khurshid said.
Pranab Mukherjee, who was a senior minister in the United Progressive Alliance government and India’s president between 2012 and 2017, died in August due to post-coronavirus complications.