Just three weeks before demitting office on July 24, President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday disclosed that there were some divergences in views between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi but both kept them to themselves and did not let it affect the government's functioning.
"We have acted in close cooperation. Surely, there have been divergences of views. But we have been able to keep those divergences to ourselves. It did not affect the relationship between the President and the Prime Minister," Mukherjee said on the occasion of the release of a book on his life titled "President Pranab Mukherjee - A Statesman" at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The book, a pictorial journey of Mukherjee's life as the 13th President published by Statesman group, was released by Modi, who presented the first copy to the President.
Looking at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was seated in the front row, Mukherjee said he would often call Jaitley to enquire about certain issues, and the latter would always convince him like "an able and effective advocate".
"I don't know how many times I have troubled the Finance Minister (by) calling him and consulting ‘why this and why not this?' But he would convince me like an able and effective advocate and I had to concede to his reasoning. The functioning of the government was never disturbed, never stopped and never delayed," Mukherjee said.
Earlier, the President said he was initially unwilling when the idea of the photo essay was first suggested to him by the publishers. He wondered about the benefit the photo essay would have since the engagements of the President are all in public domain.
However, he said, he was convinced by the publishers that the President's life beyond day-to-day events should be documented for posterity.