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Pranab Mukherjee's daughter Sharmishta Mukherjee joins Congress

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 - 6:45am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Known for being fiercely independent, Sharmishta Mukherjee (48), daughter of president Pranab Mukherjee, who all these years refused to live under the shadow of her father, has now ultimately followed his path. She jumped into the hurly-burly world of politics, joining the Congress on Monday.

Despite representing the first family, a nobility which comes with privileges and protocol she has preferred an ordinary life, living in her own three-bed room flat in Greater Kailash rather in the spacious Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Questions are, however, being raised on her admission in the Delhi unit of Congress rather than West Bengal. Many in Congress believe, she should have worked to use Pranabda's legacy to strengthen party in West Bengal, where it is facing an onslaught.

She, however, defends joining Delhi unit of Congress, saying "I have lived in Delhi, grown up here. It is my city."

But politicians in West Bengal say, her father didn't want to rock boat of his son Abhijit Mukherjee, who won Lok Sabha elections with the tacit support of Trinamool Congress. Both siblings jostling for tickets and competing for a political space could have been an embarrassment for the party.

Sharmishta's friends recall that she would never take advantage of the power of her father. They recall that Iran government was in for a shock a few years back when they had held a group of Indians alongwith Sharmishta who was on a road trip through central Asia for want of proper papers.

Despite prodding by her friends, she refused to call either embassy or her father back home. It was later when Indian embassy came to know of identity of persons, they informed the shocked Iran government.

Iranian foreign minister in the middle of night called Pranab Mukherjee, then external affairs minister, telling him, his government was taking good care of his daughter. Mukherjee himself was puzzled and it took some explaining before he could realize what had happened.

Over past one year, she has stepped in to help her mother Suvra to become official hostess during high-profile state visits. But now jumping into politics and plans to contest Delhi elections, possibility from Greater Kailash, Sharmishta told dna, she wants to end even this feeble connection with Rashtrapati Bhawan.

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