On October 31, 1984. Indian Airlines' Boeing 737 aircraft from Kolkata to Delhi had Rajiv Gandhi, Pranab Mukherjee, Sheela Dixit, Umashankar Dixit, Balram Jakhar, Secretary-General of Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap, and AB Agni Khan Chaudhary boarded.

At half-past two, Rajiv Gandhi came out of the cockpit of the aircraft and announced that Indira Gandhi had died. Shortly after the initial shock, there was discussion about what to do next.

Pranab Mukherjee, while making his point, said that since the time of Nehru, it has been a tradition to administer oaths to the interim Prime Minister in such a situation. After Nehru's demise, Gulzari Lal Nanda, the senior-most minister in the cabinet, was chosen as the interim prime minister.

Eminent journalist Rashid Kidwai writes in his book '24 Akbar Road' - One of the details is that Pranab Mukherjee started crying in the toilet of the aircraft, saddened by the death of Indira Gandhi. His eyes turned red, so he sat in the back of the plane. But his opponents in Congress presented this gesture as proof of a conspiracy against Rajiv Gandhi.

The second statement is that when Rajiv Gandhi asked about the process that followed the death of the Prime Minister, Pranab overemphasized 'seniority', which was later used as his wish to sit on the post of Prime Minister Gone.

When Pranab Mukherjee split from the Congress in 1986 and formed the National Socialist Congress

However, PC Alexander, who was the Principal Secretary to Indira Gandhi, wrote clearly in his autobiography 'Through the Corridors of Power: An Insiders Story' that as soon as Rajiv Gandhi was asked to be sworn in as Prime Minister, Pranab was the first person who strongly supported him. did.

But by then the damage was done. When Rajiv Gandhi formed his cabinet after winning the election, neither Pranab Mukherjee was given any place in it nor in the Congress Working Committee. He had to go out of the party in 1986 to form a separate party, the National Socialist Congress.

Sonia Chooses Manmohan Despite Pranab Being Senior

Pranab Mukherjee just missed becoming Prime Minister for the second time when Sonia Gandhi chose Congress leader Manmohan Singh for the post of Prime Minister in the Rajya Sabha in place of Pranab Mukherjee, the number two in the party, after rejecting the post of Prime Minister himself.