'Indian Voter was Tired of Uncertainties, Narendra Modi-led BJP Fulfilled That Need': Pranab Mukherjee's Memoir

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Indian voter was tired of uncertainties of the coalition governments and Bharatiya Janata Party led by Narendra Modi fulfilled that need, former President Pranab Mukherjee said in the fourth volume of his autobiography 'The Presidential Years: 2012-2017' which was released on Tuesday.

“BJP emerged with a simple majority on its own in the Lok Sabha for the first time and was thus able to form the government, though it still did so by co-opting its allies. But the real winner was the electorate that came out in large numbers and voted decisively, thus indicating its preference for political stability, which it believed would result in development-oriented politics,” he wrote.

Pranab Mukherjee, in the book, has also acknowledged the decisive mandate that BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi achieved in two consecutive general elections. He added, “when the 2014 results were announced, it was clear that the Congress had failed to face the BJP’s onslaught under Modi’s leadership in nearly every part of the country, ending up with a tally of a mere 44 seats.”

Talking about his advice for a decisive mandate in upcoming elections in his Republic Day Address in 2014, the witty President has remarked tongue-in-cheek “Of course, people may say that the voters responded to my advice and gave a conclusive mandate in favor of PM Modi to form a government on his own.”

Mukherjee also wrote that he wasn’t sure of the numbers and massive mandate of BJP before the 2014 elections but was impressed seeing the planning and hard work of Narendra Modi. He wrote, “Only Piyush Goyal, the then national treasurer of the party and now a cabinet minister, was confident that the BJP would get no less than 265 seats, and that the number could go up to 280. I didn’t and still don’t know the reasons for his optimism. However, I took him seriously when he gave me Modi’s detailed electioneering schedule, which was not only grueling but also painstaking.”

Appreciating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s quick learning skills, Mukherjee, himself a veteran of foreign affairs said, “when Narendra Modi took over as PM, he had absolutely no experience in foreign affairs. As the CM of Gujarat, he had visited some countries, but those visits were limited to engaging for the good of his state and had little to do with domestic or global foreign policies. I also believe that he has managed to grasp the nuances of foreign policy quickly.”