Pranab right to be upset at my elevation as PM: Manmohan

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HRD Minister presents to ex-President anthology of his convocation addresses

Terming the 10 years of UPA rule under Congress as "successful", former President Pranab Mukherjee said on Friday that his latest autobiography was an account of how an individual saw the political drama unfolding and tried to steer clear of any personal details.

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".

Singh also said they ran the government as a cohesive team of which Pranab Mukherjee was the most important member.

Speaking on the occasion of release of his latest series of his autobiography "The Coalition Years: 1996-2012", Mukherjee noted: "I can not claim to have the objectivity of a historian, which I am not".

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'In 2004, Sonia ji chose me to be the prime minister.

However, Pranab Mukherjee who became President in 2012 had said at the time of his nomination for country's top constitutional post that he was not upset after being overlooked for Prime Minister's job. He retired in July this year. PV Narasimha Rao invited me to become the finance minister. "He was better qualified than me to be the Prime Minister but he also knew I had no choice in the matter", Singh said. He said running the coalition government seemed hard but everything worked out smoothly. "That is a great trust", Mr Mukherjee had said during a media interview.

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

"He is a politician by choice". "I became a politician by accident". The function was attended by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her deputy Rahul Gandhi, CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav, DMK leader Kanimozhi and CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy.

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