Pranab right to be upset at my elevation as PM: Manmohan

Pranab right to be upset at my elevation as PM: Manmohan

On Friday, former PM Manmohan Singh broke silence on being picked as Prime Minister ahead of his colleague and former President - Pranab Mukherjee.

However, Pranab Mukherjee who became President in 2012 had said at the time of his nomination for country's top constitutional post that he was not upset after being overlooked for Prime Minister's job.

"Pranab knew I had no choice and any part in this decision", Manmohan Singh said.

"After the Congress victory in General Elections 2004, the prevalent expectation was that I would be the next choice for prime minister after Sonia Gandhi declined", he told India Today in an exclusive interview. "I took note of the fact that he was one of the senior most members of our party, was my senior most colleague and together with Sharad Pawarji and Pranab Mukherjeeji, I had the greatest regard and respect", he said during the launch.

Mukherjee, in his speech at the book release function, decribed the Congress as a coalition in itself, as it brings all ideas on one platform.

Mukherjee said he had always believed that improvement in the quality of higher education with particular emphasis on research and innovation was absolutely necessary if the country was to lead in the field. "I became a politician by accident". He said running the coalition government seemed hard but everything worked out smoothly.

He was speaking at the launch of President Mukherjee's new book, 'The Coalition Years: 1996-2012, ' in Delhi. He said running the coalition government seemed hard but everything worked out smoothly.

Singh said with their relation smoothened, they ran the government as a cohesive team. The function was attended by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her deputy Rahul Gandhi, CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav, DMK leader Kanimozhi and CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy. "We shared a good working relationship", he said.

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