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3:11 pm - Sunday November 24, 5354

Lawmakers bid adieu to Pranab

Agencies, New Delhi

Members of Parliament – cutting across party lines and a few former members – today bade farewell to the outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee, whose stint ends tomorrow.

“Mahoday, ever since you first entered Parliament in 1969, you have enriched and strengthened our Parliamentary democracy with varied expertise, vast contributions and great wisdom,” said Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan at a solemn function organised in the Central Hall of Parliament.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, union Ministers, senior lawmakers like Sonia Gandhi, L K Advani and two former PMs Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda and former Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil were present on the occasion where everyone seemed to have turned emotional as they bade adieu to 81-year-old Mr Mukherjee.

Vice President Hamid Ansari lauded Mr Mukherjee for his “unshakable belief in the idea of India” and that the outgoing President strongly cherished that pluralism and diversity forming “the greatest strength” of the country.

“He brought great distinction and dignity to the top office. His views on national and international issues have enhanced the stature of the office,” Mr Ansari said and recalled his views on the role of Governors. For his part, Mr Mukherjee sounded nostalgic more than once as he recalled how Indira Gandhi mentored him and how he has benefited over the years from the past masters like Hiren Mukherjee, Bhupesh Gupta, Atal Behari Vajpayee and even the likes of P V Narasimha Rao, Manmohan Singh and L K Advani.

Mr Mukherjee made a departure from his prepared text of the speech and said extempore that over the years he has also benefited “by the passionate support of Sonia Gandhi for social legislation”. He asked the members to avoid frequent disruptions of Parliament proceedings and said, disruptions mostly hurt the opposition more than it hurts the government.

Posted in: Featured, Nation

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