Congress registered its worst-ever performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and has suffered several electoral setbacks in the last six years. Former President Pranab Mukherjee has written in his last volume of memoirs that Congress leadership lost political focus after his elevation as President in 2012 with Sonia Gandhi "unable to handle to affairs of the party".
The book 'The Presidential Years 2012-2017', to be released in January, also says that the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was "preoccupied with saving the UPA coalition which took a toll on governance".
According to excerpts from the book released by Rupa Publications, Mukherjee also said Dr Singh's prolonged absence from the House put an end to the personal contact with other MPs.
Mukherjee died in August this year. The book will be the fourth volume of his memoirs.
The former President talks of the Congress debacle in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
"Some members of the Congress have theorized that, had I become the PM in 2004, the party might have averted the 2014 Lok Sabha drubbing. Though I don't subscribe to this view, I do believe that the party's leadership lost political focus after my elevation as president. While Sonia Gandhi was unable to handle the affairs of the party, Dr Singh's prolonged absence from the House put an end to any personal contact with other MPs," says the book.
He also writes that the overall state of the nation is reflective of the functioning of the Prime Minister and his administration.
"I believe that the moral authority to govern vests with the PM. The overall state of the nation is reflective of the functioning of the PM and his administration. While Dr Singh was preoccupied with saving the coalition, which took a toll on governance, Modi seemed to have employed a rather autocratic style of governance during his first term, as seen by the bitter relationship among the government, the legislature and the judiciary. Only time will tell if there is a better understanding on such matters in the second term of this government," he writes.
The publishers said that 'The Presidential Years' "gives us a glimpse of President Pranab Mukherjee at his best".