Pranab was better qualified to be PM, says Manmohan

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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.

Singh also said that he became a politician by accident, while Mukherjee "is a politician by choice".

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. "He had every reason to feel a grievance that he was better qualified than I was to be PM but he also knew I had no choice in matter".

During the launch of his autobiography in Delhi today, former President Pranab Mukherjee revealed that he felt that he would be considered for the office of the Prime Minister if then PM Dr Manmohan Singh was chosen for the office of the President.

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"The prevalent expectation was that I would be the next choice for prime minister after Sonia Gandhi declined".

He said that Pranab Mukherjee was senior to him in the Congress party, but Sonia Gandhi chose him to lead the government. Mukherjee, in his speech, described the Congress as a coalition in itself, as it brought all ideas on one platform.

Describing Mukherjee as the "most distinguished living parliamentarian and Congressman", Singh said his elevation as the PM did not impact the relations between them. He said running the coalition government seemed hard but everything worked out smoothly. "Much later I learnt that Dada gets angry when he doesn't want to say No to a proposition that you have taken to him but doesn't want to say Yes either", said Mr. Yechury. "We ran government as cohesive team of which Pranab Mukherjee was the most important member", he added. "I became a politician by accident when P V Narasimha Rao asked me to become the finance minister", he said.