LIVE UPDATES: Pranab Mukherjee blames Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh for 2014 defeat to Narendra Modi

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Former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, has held former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi responsible for the electoral defeat of the party in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In the final volume of his memoir, Mukherjee may make more damaging revelations about his the Congress party.

Excerpts from Mukherjee’s book The Presidential Years released by publishers Rupa read, “…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.”

Mukherjee, who died in August this year, also wrote that had he become the country’s prime minister in 2004, the Congress may not have been defeated by Narendra Modi in 2014 polls. He wrote, “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.” He, however, said that he did not subscribe to this view.

Comparing the first term in office by Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi, Mukherjee wrote, “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.”

LIVE UPDATES on today’s big stories will appear below

18:21 PM: I wasn’t present in the Lok Sabha when farm bills were passed. If I were there, I would have opposed it like Shiromani Akali Dal despite being a part of NDA and would have torn it into pieces: Hanuman Beniwal, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party. (ANI)

17:07 PM: Haryana govt stable as of now; We have a strong position on MSP issue: Dushyant Chautala. (PTI)

16:13 PM:#BiharPolice on Saturday cracked a daylight heist case that took place three days back, in which Rs 5 crore worth of gold jewellery was stolen from a shop in #Darbhanga. Seven people have been arrested, police said. (IANS)

15:39 PM: MHA calls 3 IPS officers of West Bengal, who were responsible for BJP chief J P Nadda’s security, to serve in central deputation: Officials. (PTI)

14:55 PM: Telangana: Eight people injured in a massive fire that broke out at Vindhya Organics Pvt Ltd in Industrial Development Area, Bollaram of Hyderabad. Police say, “A solvent was kept for some reaction after which it caught fire. Injured shifted to hospital. Rescue operation is on”. (ANI)

14:20 PM: Workers go on rampage at iPhone manufacturing plant near Bengaluru in Karnataka over issues related to salary: Police. (PTI)

13:58 PM: Farmers take over some toll plazas in Haryana, stop authorities from collecting fees as they intensify protest against new agri laws. (PTI)

13:07 PM: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi cites media report to claim 11 farmers died in last 17 days while protesting against new agri laws, asks how many more sacrifices will farmers have to make. (PTI)

12:48 PM: Gujarat: Two people arrested for allegedly harassing two lions in Gir forest by chasing them on motorcycle. (PTI)

11:13 AM: Farmers protesting at the Delhi-Ghazipur border (Delhi-UP) march towards Delhi. “With this march we want to give a message to the Govt to listen to our issues,” says Rakesh Tikait, Spokesperson, Bharatiya Kisan Union. (ANI)

10:34 AM: In 2014 Pawar ji had said that reason for UPA’s failure was its leaders who were expressing views in English & only a few could understand it. There was no conversation in Hindi. Now the issue is old, I don’t think we should discuss: Nawab Malik. (ANI)

09:58 AM: Single day rise of 30,006 new infections, 442 fatalities push India’s COVID-19 caseload to 98,26,775, death toll to 1,42,628: Govt. (PTI)

09:23 AM: Aligarh: A woman & her brother arrested for allegedly killing a man in Gandhi Nagar area. “She had an illicit affair with the victim and murdered him because he was blackmailing her with an obscene video. The body was found in a nullah on December 10,” says the SP City. (ANI)

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