The third volume of former President Pranab Mukherjee’s autobiography titled “The Coalition Years — 1996-2012” will be released on Friday in the presence of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and leaders of non-BJP parties.
Curiously, the invitation for the book launch function has listed the names of CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader S. Sudhakar Reddy, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra, DMK leader Kanimozhi besides Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.
However, it does not have any name from the BJP or the NDA. As President, Mukherjee had good equations with the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
The book being published by Rupa Publications tracks Mukherjee’s journey from 1996 and explores the highs and lows that characterized 16 years of “one of the most tumultuous periods in the nation’s political history”, according to the synopsis.
The book has an account of the larger governance phenomenon in India — coalition politics “as seen through the eyes of one of the chief architects of the post-Congress era of Indian politics”.
Mukherjee was an active participant in the contemporary developments that reshaped the course of the country’s political, economic and social destiny.
“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. He recounts each of these events with candour, the path-breaking meeting with Henry Kissinger in 2004 that altered the course of the Indo-US strategic partnership, his timely advice to Bangladesh Army Chief Moeen Ahmed in 2008 that led to the release of political prisoners there and the differing views with RBI Governor D. Subbarao on the structure of the (Financial Stability and Development Council) FSDC.”