Pranab Mukherjee was more qualified to become PM: Manmohan Singh

Former President Pranab Mukherjee with former prime minister Manmohan Singh CPI General Secretary Sitaram Yechury CPI Gener

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. Speaking at the function, the former PM said, "There are many reasons why Mukherjee would have been a better PM. didn't have a choice".

Congress President Sonia Gandhi had stunned everyone when she appointed former finance minister Manmohan Singh the prime minister of the country when UPA came to power in 2004.

"He had a reason to feel upset but he respected me and we have a great relationship which will continue till we live", added ex-PM.

Mukherjee also said that when he declined to join the government headed by Manmohan Singh, Sonia insisted on his being a part of it as he would be "vital to its functioning and also be of support of Singh".

The Congress party helped Pranab Mukherjee in becoming the President of the country in 2012. His autobiography is titled Coalition Years 1996 to 2012 and released today at the Nehru Memorial Museum Library, Delhi.

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Speaking on the occasion, Javadekar said: "Our former President Pranab Mukherjee has always been our torchbearer". In his book, Mukherjee said he has described the coalition years and tried not to bring in any personal matters.

"It was hard to have one coalition within and another outside. I became a politician by accident when P V Narasimha Rao asked me to become the Finance Minister", he said.

"So before the elections, we have got this book on coalition governments which may come handy", he said.

Singh hailed Mukherjee as the greatest parliamentarians and pointed out that his appointment as prime minister did not impact the relations between them. Various other leading Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were present at the event, reported ANI.

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