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Pranab Mukherjee’s son and daughter in spat over his memoir

The memoir was in the news recently for Pranab Mukherjee's critical comments on the Congress, including his observation that the party lost political focus after his elevation as president.

The former president and long-time Congress leader died on August 31 at the age of 84, following COVID-19 complications.(Express Photo by Renuka Puri)

A controversy erupted on Tuesday over the soon-to-be-released memoir of late Pranab Mukherjee with the former President’s son and former Lok Sabha MP Abhijit Mukherjee asking the publishers to seek his clearance before publishing the book and his sister and Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee telling him not to create “unnecessary hurdles” in the publication.

The publisher of The Presidential Years released a few excerpts last week, according to which Mukherjee wrote that the leadership of the Congress lost political focus after he became President in 2012.

“I, the Son of the author of the Memoir “The Presidential Memoirs” request you to kindly stop the publication of the memoir as well as motivated excerpts which is already floating in certain media platforms without my written consent. Since my father is no more, I being his son want to go through the contents of the final copy of the book before it’s publication as I believe, had my father been alive today, he too would have done the same,” Abhijit tweeted.

Sharmistha responded on Twitter. “I, daughter of the author of the memoir ‘The Presidential Years’, request my brother @ABHIJIT_LS not to create any unnecessary hurdles in publication of the last book written by our father. He completed the manuscript before he fell sick. The final draft contains my dads’ hand written notes and comments that have been strictly adhered to. The views expressed by him are his own & no one should try to stop it from being published for any cheap publicity. That would be the greatest disservice to our departed father,” she said.

She also reminded her brother that the title of the book is The Presidential Years and not ‘The Presidential Memoirs’. Abhijit corrected the error soon.

The Presidential Years, the fourth volume of the former President’s memoirs, published by Rupa, will go on sale next month. Mukherjee passed away on August 31 at the age of 84.

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The Congress refused to get drawn into the controversy. “We have no comments to offer,” said Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala, when asked for his reaction.

First published on: 16-12-2020 at 01:00 IST
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