During his speech,the president wondered whether Reddy's nomination was an attempt to curtail the powers of the PM.
Reopening the pages of history, President Pranab Mukherjee said that Indira Gandhi saw through a plot hatched by Congress veterans, known as the “syndicate“, to control the Prime Minister’s powers by installing Sanjiva Reddy in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Pranab also spoke on other events of Indira Gandhi’s life including Emergency. He also touched upon the 1969 presidential election that was held in between confrontation between Indira Gandhi and senior Congress leaders who supported Reddy . The president added that during the time Indira took the side of V V Giri, who entered into the fray, which led to Reddy’s defeat, a TOI report has said.
During his speech, at Vigyan Bhawan, with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other senior party leaders on the dais, the president wondered whether Reddy’s nomination was an attempt to curtail the powers of PM, which Indira perhaps foresaw at the time.
Linking the 42nd amendment to the Constitution, binding the President to the advice of the Cabinet, President Pranab Mukherjee heeped prise on the former prime minister for her leadership. He also said that after the 1977 Lok Sabha defeat, Indiara Gandhi refused the advise of some senior party leaders that cooperation with Janata Party was needed for the pardon of the people for emergency.
He also recalled that the atmosphere after the elections was hostile for Indira as the Janata Party and also some Congressmen had conducted a relentless slander campaign against her.