Days before the end of his tenure, President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday spoke candidly about his relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the launch of his book ‘President Pranab Mukherjee – A Statesman’ at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mukherjee said that divergences with Modi did not hamper the President-Prime Minister relationship.
“Little more than 3 years, we have acted in close cooperation. It is not that there cannot be any divergence of view. Surely, there have been divergences of views. But we have been able to keep those divergences, if there be any, only to ourselves. It did never find any place anywhere and it did not affect the relationship between the President and the PM, between the titular head and the actual head of the administration and council of ministers,” Mukherjee said, expressing his “deep gratitude and appreciation” to the prime minister.
Speaking before the President, Modi, who launched the book, said he was fortunate to have got a chance to work with Mukherjee. He also added that Mukherjee had helped him in settling in Delhi in his new role as PM. “PranabDa ki ungli pakadake Delhi ki zindagi mein apne aap ko set karne me bahut badi suvidha mili (I was fortunate to get Pranab Mukherjee’s guidance to be able to settle in Delhi),” Modi said.
While talking about the book, PM Modi said, “The Presidency is much more than protocol. Through the photographs in the book, we see the human side of our President & we feel proud.” He added, “Two pictures of Bapu, one with a broom and the other, seeing something through a microscope, shows what a diverse personality he had.”
Addressing the gathering, PM Modi remarked, “It is my view that we can be more history-conscious as a society. We can preserve aspects of our history much better.” He added, “Even today, to study about India our scholars have to go abroad and access the libraries there.”