Former president Pranab Mukherjee’s demise has introduced out in the open what his life had saved a lid on. The uneasy relationship between his two youngsters — Sharmishtha Mukherjee and Abhijit Mukherjee – each of whom are in politics.
The present subject between the siblings is the upcoming launch of the ‘Presidential Years’, the final e-book of the previous president which has already created a flutter.
In the e-book, the late Congress veteran had made scathing references to each former prime minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Abhijit has now written to the publishers asking them to not launch the e-book until he went by it and accused it of being malicious. He tweeted, “I, the son of the author of the Memoir ” The Presidential Memoirs ” request you to kindly stop the publication of the memoir as well as motivated excerpts which is already floating in certain media platforms without my written consent”.
Soon after, his sister hit again. “I daughter of the author of the memoir ‘The Presidential Years’, request my brother @ABHIJIT_LS not to create any unnecessary hurdles in publication of the last book written by our father. He completed the manuscript before he fell sick.” The public spat is also being seen as a fight for the legacy of Pranab Mukherjee.
Going by norms, a son may be seen as the inheritor of a parent’s legacy, but it is an open fact that the former president was closer to his daughter and considered her a true inheritor.
She was always by his side when he travelled abroad as president, assisted him and also has a diary of the former president which has some explosive facts. He has left it behind with her leaving it to her to reveal the details if she deemed fit. Sharmistha lived with the former president in his official residence in his years after retirement as president.
However, when it came to contesting from Pranab Mukherjee’s constituency Jangipur, it was the son who was chosen and not the daughter. This had not, however, diminished her importance as those who wanted to contact the late Congress veteran knew she was the person to reach.
In the last few days of Pranab Mukherjee and after his death, it was noticed that Abhijit became proactive. From announcing his father’s death to receiving official condolence to visiting Mirati, the ancestral home during Durga Puja, Abhijit took many by surprise.
An observer of the family said, “This was surprising for us because we know that during the times that Pranab Mukherjee was ill, it was Sharmistha who looked after him. Also because father was more comfortable with the daughter and the fact that the son was busy with his work and family.”
Earlier too, the siblings have had public spats. In 2012, Abhijit had derided protests over rape by saying it was being done by “dented painted women”. Sharmistha had hit back saying she apologised on his behalf and that “as a family we don’t accept these remarks “
At that time too, the hint was there that the two never got along. But as long as Pranab Mukherjee was alive, the sibling fights were kept under wraps as the firefighter for the Congress never wanted his family fights to be in the news.
However, with the passing away of the veteran politician, there’s a political vacuum. While each have to date stayed away from elections in Bengal, Sharmistha has excused herself from any celebration posts, sources say Abhijit is recreation. And, the combat to guard his father’s honour is what many say Abhijit desires to make use of to attempt to match into his father’s monumental sneakers.