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Pranab Mukherjee’s children in Twitter spat over his memoir, son objects to its publication

Pranab Mukherjee's memoir 'The Presidential Years' is set for a January release. His daughter Sharmistha says no one should try to stop the book's publication for 'any cheap publicity'.

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New Delhi: Former president Pranab Mukherjee’s memoir The Presidential Years seems to have split his family, with his son Abhijit Mukherjee and daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee engaged in a Twitter war Tuesday over the book.

While Abhijit requested publisher Rupa Books to immediately stop the memoir’s publication till a consent is given by him, Sharmistha hit back saying he should not create “any unnecessary hurdles”.

“Since my father is no more , I being his son want to go through the contents of the final copy of the book before it’s publication as I believe , had my father been alive today , he too would have done the same,” Abhijit tweeted.

He also said that the publication of the book should be stopped immediately till he goes through its content and gives his consent.

Abhijit is a former Congress MP from Jangipur, the West Bengal constituency, which was also represented by his father.

Sharmistha, who is a Congress spokesperson and a former MLA, took to Twitter and said it was the last book written by her father before he fell sick.

Referring to her brother, Sharmistha further said that no one should try to stop the book’s publication for “any cheap publicity”.

“The final draft contains my dads’ hand written notes & comments that have been strictly adhered to. The views expressed by him are his own & no one should try to stop it from being published for any cheap publicity. That would be the greatest disservice to our departed father,” she tweeted.

Speaking to ThePrint, Abhijit said, “I want to go through its (book) contents before publication and till I get the original contents and go through it, the publisher has been requested not to go ahead without his written consent.”

Sharmistha, however, did not respond to repeated calls on her mobile and WhatsApp messages by ThePrint.

Kapish G. Mehra, managing director, Rupa Publications, India, said he does not want to comment on the matter.

Also read: As Modi revives UPA’s GoMs, Amit Shah has become what Pranab Mukherjee was — the ‘GoM dada’

‘Hope publisher will heed to my request’

Selective excerpts from the book, which will be released in January next year, was released to the media last week by Rupa Books.

In the book, the former president has taken a critical view of the Congress and blamed former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress’ interim president Sonia Gandhi for the party’s defeat in the 2014 Parliamentary elections. The former president passed away in August.

While refusing to comment on Sharmistha’s tweets, Abhijit also said that he remains firm on his words and hoped, as the author’s son, that he was well within his rights. “I hope the publisher will heed to my individual request,” he added.

Also read: Notes from Indira, 1980 poll analysis — ‘treasure trove’ at Pranab Mukherjee’s Delhi home


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