"Pranab ji was most qualified and had every reason to believe that he would be Prime Minister. But he also knows that I had no choice in the matter", Dr. Singh remarked, evoking laughter. "Pranab Mukherjee is a politician by choice and he is one of the greatest politicians living in our country".
Speaking at the launch of Mukherjee's new book, 'The Coalition Years: 1996-2012, ' in Delhi, Singh said the former president had every reason for grievance at being ignored for prime ministership.
He added: "In 2004, Sonia ji chose me to be the Prime Minister". Pranab Mukherjee was thought to be the natural choice for the post after Sonia recused herself from the job after the principal opposition, BJP, created ruckus at her being from Italy.
"The former PM described Mukherjee as the" most distinguished living parliamentarian and Congressman", whom everyone in the party looked up to for discussing and resolving hard issues. He retired in July this year. "This expectation was possibly based on the fact that I had extensive experience in government", he wrote. "But that was done", he said. "Beyond the challenges, complications and compulsions of coalition governments, this book is also a recollection of Mukherjee's journey as the Cabinet Minister in the key ministries of defence, external affairs and finance, beginning from 2004".
Praising the book, Akhilesh Yadav said that it is like laying your hands on good notes before the examinations. His autobiography is titled Coalition Years 1996 to 2012 and released today at the Nehru Memorial Museum Library, Delhi.
"Therefore that smoothened our relationship".
The book, published by the National Book Trust, will be circulated to various higher learning institutes in the country, an official statement said.
"He is a politician by choice". Mukherjee was an active participant in the contemporary developments that reshaped the course of the country's political, economic and social destiny.
"So before the elections, we have got this book on coalition governments which may come handy", he said. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was present at the launch too. Akhilesh, who was recently re- elected the SP president, said people earlier dealt with his father Mulayam Singh Yadav but would now deal with him.
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