Former president Pranab Mukherjee in his last book said that the Congress' failure to recognise the end of its charismatic leadership was among the many reasons for its defeat in the 2014 general elections. He felt lack of extraordinary leaders reduced the establishment to a 'government of averages'.
Mukherjee, who served as the 13th President from 2012 until 2017, made these comments in his memoir 'The Presidential Years, 2012-2017' which he wrote before his death last year. The book was released on Tuesday.
In the book, Mukherjee mentioned that on the day of the results of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he directed his aide-de-camp to keep him informed of the trends every half an hour. When the results were announced in the evening, he was "greatly relieved over the decisive mandate but also disappointed at my one-time party's performance".
"It was difficult to believe that the Congress had managed to win just 44 seats. The Congress is a national institution interlinked with people's lives. Its future is always a concern of every thinking individual," he wrote in the book, according to a PTI report.
The former Congress leader and Union minister attributed this defeat to many reasons.
"I feel the party failed to recognise the end of its charismatic leadership. Tall leaders like Pandit Nehru ensured that India, unlike Pakistan, survived and developed into a strong and stable nation. Sadly, such extraordinary leaders are not there anymore, reducing the establishment to a government of averages," he wrote.
With PTI Inputs