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Pranab Mukherjee was better qualified than me to become PM: Manmohan Singh

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

Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday made a candid admission that he thought former President Pranab Mukherjee had reasons to be upset when he was appointed as the prime minister of the country in 2004.

"Manmohan Singh was speaking at the launch of Pranab Mukherjee's book The Coalition Years: 1996-2012". Singh said when Congress President Sonia Gandhi chose him to be the Prime Minister in 2014, Pranab Mukherjee was the most distinguished colleague he had. 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".

Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that he has always believed that improvement of quality in higher education particularly emphasis on research and innovation is absolutely necessary if number one ranking is to be achieved. Dr Singh came into politics when the then PM Narasimha Rao invited him to join the government as the finance minister. "We ran the government as cohesive team of which Pranab Mukherjee was the most imp member", Manmohan added.

Mukherjee wrote in his book that after the 2004 election victory there was intense speculation in the party about who would be the prime minister, but the consensus within the Congress was that the incumbent should be a political leader with experience in party affairs and administration.

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Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar here on Thursday presented to former President Pranab Mukherjee an anthology of his convocation addresses as the Head of State.

"The prevalent expectation was that I would be the next choice for prime minister after Sonia Gandhi declined". He said running the coalition government seemed hard but everything worked out smoothly. Mrs Gandhi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi were also part of the audience.

Praising the book, Akhilesh Yadav said that it is like laying your hands on good notes before the examinations.

The book launch saw Opposition parties coming together.

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