12 May, 2021

PM, By Initials

Assertiveness is one thing. Pranab must shun political play.

Illustration by Sorit
PM, By Initials

President Pranab Mukherjee, by recent actions and statements, has brought the focus back on the role of his office. Significantly he forced a rethink on the ordinance overturning a Supreme Court verdict on the debarring of convicted lawmakers while a bill was pending in Parliament on the same subject.  Despite the Congress claiming that its Vice President was the agent provocateur, clearly the play was from Raisina Hill.

End 1984, as Deputy Secretary to President Zail Singh, I resided at 19, Willingdon Crescent. Mr Pranab Mukherjee, just sacked from the cabinet for suggesting that after Mrs Indira Gandhi’s assassination the next senior minister, being himself, be sworn-in as interim PM, moved-in next door. He lived a quiet existence, using the house as rendezvous point for meeting his few remaining intimates. Contrariwise, my residence over time became a hub of activity as President-Prime Minister relations worsened culminating in a full-scale confrontation by the beginning of 1987 and the...

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