New Delhi: Late President Pranab Mukherjee in his autobiography ‘The Presidential Years’ revealed that the first Prime Minister of India Pdt. Jawaharlal Nehru had rejected Nepal King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah’s offer to make the Himalayan country a province of India. ALSO READ | Central Vista Project: SC Gives A Go-Ahead To Redevelopment Plan Of Parliament Building
The incident has come to light through reports on the book ‘The Presidential Years’. In chapter 11 titled ‘My Prime Ministers: Different Styles, Different Temperaments’, Mukherjee wrote about his views on the prime ministers and presidents of the country and their respective style of functioning.
“Every PM has his or her own style of functioning. Lal Bahadur Shastri took positions that were very different from that of Nehru. There can be divergent perceptions among PMs, even if they happen to come from the same party, on issues such as foreign policy, security and internal administration,” he wrote.
According to him, PM Nehru was very diplomatic in dealing with Nepal as “After the Rana rule was replaced by the monarchy in Nepal, he wished for democracy to take root. Interestingly, Nepal’s king, Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah, had suggested to Nehru that Nepal be made a province of India. But Nehru rejected the offer on the grounds that Nepal was an independent nation and must remain so”.
He then adds that if Indira Gandhi were in his place, she would have seized the opportunity the way she did with Sikkim.
“Had Indira Gandhi been in Nehru’s place, she would have perhaps seized upon the opportunity, like she did with Sikkim,” Mukherjee added.
Earlier, Pranab Mukherjee’s take over the much-debated move of ‘Demonetisation’ had come to light through the book as it was revealed that PM Narendra Modi did not discuss the decision with him and the former president got to know about it with the rest of the nation.
He, however, opined that the “suddenness and surprise” was necessary for such an announcement. Mukherjee went on to add that the objectives laid out by PM Narendra Modi-led union government were not met by the decision.
“One thing can be stated without fear of contradiction: that the multiple objectives of the decision of demonetization, as stated by the government, to bring back black money, paralyse the operation of the black economy and facilitate a cashless society, etc., have not been met,” he wrote.
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