Mamata born rebel, has an aura impossible to ignore: Pranab writes in his book

NEW DELHI
17 Oct 2017

Former President Pranab Mukherjee has described Mamata Banerjee as a "born rebel" and recalled how she once stormed out of a meeting, leaving him feeling "humiliated and insulted".

Noting that there was an aura about her which was "difficult to explain but impossible to ignore", Mukherjee said in his new book 'The Coalition Years' that she had built her career fearlessly and aggressively and was the "outcome of her own struggle". "Mamata Banerjee is a born rebel," he wrote, adding that nothing illustrated this trait better than an episode in the West Bengal Congress organisational election in 1992, in which she was defeated. He recollected how she suddenly changed her mind and demanded open elections in the party unit.

The former President recalled that after media reports said the top leaders of the West Bengal Congress, including Banerjee, wanted a consensus election to avoid an open contest that could bring out "ugly factionalism" in the party, then Prime Minister and Congress chief P V Narasimha Rao asked him to mediate and find a solution. "One day, during the winter of that year, I requested Mamata Banerjee for a meeting to discuss some of the observations she had made about the process (of organisational elections).

"During the discussion, Mamata suddenly flared up and accused me along with other leaders of a conspiracy against her. She now demanded organisational election, and said she had always stood for elections so that grass-roots level workers could have their say in organisational matters," he said in the book.