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CM Jagan greatly respected Pranab Mukherjee


AP CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy had a great respect for the departed leader Pranab Mukherjee. Jagan used to call him ‘uncle’. Pranab was also very close to YS Rajasekhara Reddy. Hence, the YSR family’s long standing friendly relations with the late former President. Jagan Reddy respected Pranab Dada so much that he took special permission from the jail authorities and voted for Pranad when he ran for the President’s post. That was despite the strong differences Jagan Reddy had for the Congress party at that time.

What more, Pranab was responsible for making Kiran Kumar Reddy the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. Actually, Jagan Reddy was bitterly against Kiran Kumar considering the fact that he himself wanted to become the CM. Pranab Mukherjee had no choice but to persuade the warring groups within the Congress at that time to make Kiran Kumar the new CM at that time.

Moreover, Jagan Reddy was totally against the bifurcation of AP into two separate states. In this respect also, Pranab Mukherjee in his capacity as the President of India at that time, had to sign the AP Reorganisation Bill. As a senior Parliamentarian and a leader close to AP leaders, Pranab was also involved in the formation of separate Telangana. Way back in 2004 itself, Pranab led a 3-member national level committee to study the Telangana issue. That committee did not submit any report due to lack of unanimity. However, after 2010 again, Pranab held meetings again on Telangana issue. Even KCR and KTR were full of praise for the role Pranab has played in the formation of Telangana.

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Pranab Mukherjee could be PM candidate if BJP lacks majority in 2019: Shiv Sena


Former president Pranab Mukherjee recently attended RSS event and that created tremors in political circles across the country. Several analyst and political parties still analysing Pranab Mukherjee attending this event and his speech and interpreting it in their own way. In an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana, Shiv Sena said RSS’ has an agenda in inviting former president and Congress veteran leader Pranab Mukherjee to their event and it would be revealed during the coming next year’s general election.

It wrote, former president Pranab Mukherjee could be the consensus candidate for the Prime Minister’s post if the BJP fails to garner a majority in the 2019 general elections. By inviting Pranab to their event, RSS was able to send the message across the country that, RSS or even BJP he is not against Congress or Congress men but it is only against Gandhi family dynasty politics, Shiva sena said. It is known to every one that, several parties in the country are against Modi’s autocratic ruling and they may oppose Modis’ Prime ministerial candidature. So, BJP may want to have someone who is capable and acceptable to all political parties as prime minister candidate. Pranab’s visit to the RSS event had evoked sharp responses, with several leaders of his party, including his daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee and Congress’s top man Ahmed Patel, criticising this decision. But Shivasena slammed Congress for making a fool of itself by trying to stop Mukherjee’s visit.

Now the question is – “Can president of india again join politics after his tenure in office is over?”

Answer is – yes, they can. constitution is silent on this. But after working as president of India, so far no one has come back to active politics in India. Post of President is the top most post in the country. Former Presidents are hence treated with dignity and decorum. They are given very high level in the protocol of respect and reception.So, even though Indian Constitution doesn’t say anything directly on this, it has been a norm that after working as president of India President of India, to retain the honour for that post, they will not come back to active politics where criticizing others and getting criticized is daily affair .

It is very common to see governors, after the term in office is over, coming back to active politics and becoming Central ministers our chief ministers at the state. But, compared to governor post, the post of first citizen of the country is much bigger one and so far there is no precedent on former presidents coming back to active politics. It has to be reminded that, various commissions like Sarkaria and Poonch commission recommended even governor post to be given to people from non political background or at least to the people who are not in active politics in the recent years.

We will have to wait and see if there is any truth in this interpretation and also he Pranab Mukherjee changes the tradition for his ambition of becoming Prime Minister of India. But if he comes back to active politics the first criticism he will get is – he is spoiling the owner of the position of President of India for his personal ambitions.


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Ahmed Patel attacks Pranab Da for attending RSS event


Pranab Mukherjee, former president of India attending RSS event led to a massive debate in the country. It led to debate because Pranab Mukherjee is a hard core Congress man and proponent of Nehruvian ideology and Congress is anti-RSS to the core.

Congress MP Ahmed Patel openly expressed his disappointment in his tweet – “I did not expect this from Pranab da!”. He also tagged the tweet of Sharmishta, daughter of Pranab and now congress spokes person, who also expressed her ire over the decision of her father.

Sharmistha earlier tweeted: “Hope CitiznMukherjee now realizes from today’s incident, how BJP dirty tricks department operates. Even RSS would not believe that you are going to endorse its views in your speech. But the speech will be forgotten, visuals will remain and those will be circulated with fake statements,” she said in a series of tweets.

It seems, all staunch congress people are terribly disappointed with Pranab’s decision of attending RSS event.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Pranab Mukherjee’s book creating sensation among political circles


Pranab Mukherjee book

“The Coalition Years” book, by 13th President of India Pranab Mukherjee, that was released couple of days back is creating sensation among political circles. The Coalition Years book explores the highs and lows that characterized the most tumultuous periods in India’s political history starting 1996 till 2014. His book is so candid and he explained several things that happened behind the screens during those years. Excerpts as below:

Why he did not become PM and why Manmohan became PM (2004):

Pranab explained it this way -‘Only in 2004 did I win a seat to the Lok Sabha. Second, though I was elected to the Lok Sabha, I did not know Hindi. And without knowing Hindi, nobody should venture to be the PM of India. My honest assessment at the time was that Manmohan was the best choice. Over time, he had understood administrative and political nuances. He had vast administrative experience and was well-versed in economic affairs.’

Why Sharad Pawar raked up Sonia’s “Italian origin” in 1999:

Mukherjee touched upon the attack orchestrated by Pawar over Sonia’s “Italian origin” in a meeting of the Congress working committee in 1999. “In my opinion, Pawar, as the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, expected the party to request him, instead of Sonia Gandhi, to stake claim to form the government. After Sonia’s elevation as the Congress president, she consulted P Shiv Shankar on all important issues rather than Pawar. This sense of alienation and disenchantment may have been responsible for his statements on Sonia’s foreign origin, and his subsequent exit from the party in 1999,” Mukherjee wrote.

1998: How did Sitaram Kesri feel when he had to vacate the party post for Sonia Gandhi:

“On 5 March, 1998, Sitaram Kesri convened the meeting of CWC where Jitendra Prasad, Sharad Pawar, and Ghulam Nabi Azad urged Kesri to take initiative to invite Sonia Gandhi to take charge of the party. Kesri refused to accept the suggestion and accused some leaders, including Mukherjee, of hatching a conspiracy against him. He then left the meeting.” Pranab revealed

On meeting Bal Thackeray despite Sonia’s disapproval (2012):

“I took a decision to meet Thackeray despite Sonia Gandhi’s disapproval because I felt that the man who had broken away from his traditional coalition partner to support my candidature, should not feel humiliated,” Mr. Mukherjee said in his book. With this incident he revealed he followed his heart at times rather than blindly following Sonia.

On bouncing back of Congress in future:

Being a staunch congress man, it is expected of him. Pranab remarked, “Although Sonia and Manmohan hinted the situation was critical, Congress leaders, who met me, assessed that they would get 160-170 seats and gave BJP around 180. Surprisingly, Piyush Goyal told me that BJP was not going to get less than 260 and he was nearest to the mark.” Also, he added Don’t write off Congress…the 132-year old party will bounce back.”

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Congress relaunches the National Herald newspaper


As a part of relaunching the newspaper National Herald, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday released a commemorative edition of the newspaper in Bengaluru to celebrate the 70years of India’s independence.

President Pranab Mukherjee will officially launch the weekly newspaper on June 20 in New Delhi. The paper will be published from the national capital.

Rahul Gandhi said that while the government is forcing everyone into silence, National Herald has a spirit and it won’t be silenced. He asserted that the weekly should speak the truth and asked the editors to criticise the Congress party when required.

The National Herald which shut its operations due to financial constraints in 2009 was launched in Lucknow by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938. The newspaper was in controversy after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy accused Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi of conspiracy and cheating in 2012 with the objective of acquiring the assets owned by the newspaper. The newspaper’s online edition has been functional since November2016.

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Not in race for another term: President Mukherjee


President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday probably gave enough hints that he may not be in the race for another term in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“I have exactly two months to go. July 25, a new President will assume office. I am sending back officials who have worked with me, back to their ministries and departments. One has gone to the Commerce Ministry, two to the Ministry of External Affairs,” he said.

The President was speaking at a farewell tea organised for the media by President’s Secretary Omita Paul for his Press Secretary Venu Rajamony, a career diplomat who has been appointed the Ambassador to The Netherlands. Rajamony will assume his new office in The Hague early next month.

Mukherjee’s remarks assume significance in the context of the ongoing hectic political activities centred around a candidate for the President’s election slated in July. The Congress-led Opposition has given enough indications that it will not be averse to a second term for Mukherjee if the government is acceptable to it. But the ruling dispensation has not given any hints about who it has in mind for the top post.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi is hosting a lunch for Opposition leaders here on Friday as part of efforts to arrive at a consensus over the Opposition candidate. Trinamool Congress, whose leader Mamata Banerjee has also been invited for the lunch and has met Gandhi recently, is known to be okay with another term for Mukherjee.

In his remarks, Mukherjee said after a hectic political life he had been wondering whether he would fit into the President’s post where the incumbent has to work under Constitutional rules.

In her speech, Paul described Rajamony as an excellent communicator and complimented him for a good job of putting across the President and Rashtrapati Bhavan activities to the people through the media.

Senior journalist Sachidananda Murthy praised Rajamony’s role in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, saying he broke new grounds. Rajamony had also contributed to making the Rashtrapati Bhavan library one of the best in the city.

Thanking the President for the opportunity provided to him, Rajamony said he had worked with Mukherjee for two years in the Finance Ministry before his election as President and nearly five years in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and that had given him wonderful insight into Mukherjee as a public functionary, who the outside world called a “walking encylopedia”.

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Modi might spring surprise as Sonia unites opposition for President


BJP is known to spring surprises when it comes to naming its candidate in elections. The July presidential elections will probably be similar to the face-off between VV Giri and Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy in 1969. It is indisputable that a staunch supporter of Congress Pranab Mukherjee will not be given another term as a President. Unlike the US, India has no restrictions on the term of President. Except for VV Giri who was not only President but also an interim president, India never had same president for two consecutive terms.

As the country awaits surprise from BJP several names have surfaced. L K Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj and Sumitra Mahajan are likely in the race. Even RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s name appeared. Advani mentioned that he is not in the battle. With the Babri case surfacing the chances for Advani and Joshi are bleak. However, there are chances that a Dalit candidate may be named as a President.

Narendra Modi may just pick Governor of Jharkhand Draupadi Murmu a tribal candidate from Odisha as the NDA Presidential candidate.

Congress is already in consultations with its allies about the candidate they will be nominating. AICC President Sonia Gandhi will probably organise a meeting with leaders of non-NDA parties to pursue plans for tapping a common candidate. The names of Deva Gowda, Sharad Yadav and Hamid Ansari surfaced from the opposition parties.

The Presidential elections are indirect elections done through electoral college. NDA is mighty in Lok Sabha but UPA has strength in Rajya Sabha. In such situation, the support of regional parties becomes crucial. The elected members of the Legislative assemblies of the 29 states and the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Puducherry and Delhi are significant as BJP doesn’t have half way mark yet. The support of AIADMK, TRS, YSRCP and BJD are imperative now. Speculations are rife that the regional parties do not want to vote for a congress candidate.

The values of votes polled by MP is 708 while it is not equal for all MLAs in the country. Based on population and number of elected legislators, the vote value of MLAs is considered. In UP the vote value of an MLA is the highest at 209 while the lowest vote value is from Sikkim at 7. The vote value of TS and AP MLAs is 148.

President Pranab Mukherjee’s term expires on July 25,2017. It would be elevating if NDA proposes a non-politician as it did in 2002 by making Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

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Reminiscences of President Pranab on Dr Kalam


Reminiscences of President Pranab Mukherjee on former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalama as  conveyed to media on board his aircraft en route to Delhi from Bangalore on July 28, 2015 

I am deeply saddened by Dr. Kalam’s unexpected demise. He would have completed 84 years in October this year. There is only a four year difference between us. He was born in October 1931 and I was born in December 1935.

My first interaction with Dr. Kalam was when he was Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri. After the Pokhran blasts, Prime Minister Vajpayee invited leaders of the Congress Party for a briefing. I, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and a couple of others were present. The technical aspects of the tests at Pokhran II was explained by Dr. Kalam through an impressive presentation. Vajpayeeji, Ministers and other political leaders analysed it from the political angle.

I congratulated him when he received Bharat Ratna in November 1997 and when his name came up for Presidency. But, we had formal interaction only after 2004. I was Defence Minister in the UPA-I Government when he was President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. He asked me to support the Brahmos missile project. His direct encouragement resulted in the Brahmos being used by all the three services. Initially, it was a surface-to-surface missile. But now we have adapted it and there are surface-to-air, air-to-air, and naval versions. Dr. Kalam and his colleagues developed this indigenous cruise missile of India. Dr. Kalam’s contributions enhanced our defence capabilities.

Dr. Kalam used to often write poetry. Sometimes, while paying respects to departed soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyoti, he would compose a poem and quietly pass it on to me. I received two/three poems like this.

Our friendship developed because we had a common passion –books. He loved books and lived amongst them. His world revolved around books. Many years ago, I read in college a poem ‘My days among the dead are passed’. Dead here means authors who are no more. I am always surrounded by books. He too was always surrounded by books. Moreover, he was a prolific writer. This passion brought us together. When we met and the few times he came to see me, we would discuss books. What each one was reading or what he was writing. He chided me why do you not write? You read but your production is poor compared to your reading. Why don’t you write?

After my becoming President, he visited me several times and we discussed many things. On his last visit, he presented me his book ‘Beyond 2020’.

I was shocked when I heard the unexpected news of his demise. A sense of tremendous loss overwhelmed me. Dr. Kalam was always jovial but carried his years lightly. His mind was ever agile. He was humble but had a mighty mind. He was the people’s President during his tenure as President and will continue to remain so in the hearts of people after his demise.

No President was ever loved so much. Jawaharlal Nehru received a great deal of love and affection from children and the people. After that, it has been Dr. Kalam. Watching Dr. Kalam enjoy the company of children and students, it seemed as if he was Nehru in another form.


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President Condoles the Loss of Lives at Pushkaralu


The President of India Pranab Mukherjee has condoled the loss of lives in a stampede at the Pushkarulu Ghat of Godavari River in Rajahmundry District of Andhra Pradesh.

In his message to E.S.L. Narasimhan, the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, the President has said “I am saddened to learn about the stampede at the Pushkarulu Ghat of Godavari River in Rajahmundry District of Andhra Pradesh, where a number of devotees have lost their lives and many others are injured. I understand relief and rescue operations are currently underway.

“I call upon the State Government and other authorities to provide all possible aid to the bereaved families, who have lost their near and dear ones as well as medical assistance to the injured.

Please convey my heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. I wish speedy recovery to the injured persons.”

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