A day before President Pranab Mukherjee demits office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday lavished praise on him, saying he never judged his government’s decisions or compared them with those made by previous governments. “I was surprised while working with Pranab Da for three years that despite having been a part of the government for so long, and that too in key decision-making positions, he never judged or compared my government’s decisions by his past experiences,” Modi said. Modi released a book titled “Selected Speeches of President – Volume 4” at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan here and presented the first copy to Mukherjee. “He always saw the decisions in the present context with the present realities,” Modi added. Modi said although he and the President came from entirely different political backgrounds and were nurtured by different ideologies, “Pranab Da never let me feel that”. He said it was due to the guidance of “guardian and fatherly figure” of Mukherjee that he could learn the nitty-gritty of governance at the Centre. “I was new, had no experience at this level (Centre). I came from a state. But through his (Mukherjee’s) guidance we could do many things that we have done,” the Prime Minister said. He said his every interaction with Mukherjee will serve as a guiding light in his life.
Speaking on the occasion, Mukherjee said: “I have received much more from the country, than what I have given.” He also said he was overwhelmed by a deep sense of gratitude to the people of India for the trust and confidence they reposed in him and humbled by their kindness and affection.
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He also said that in last five years he learnt from his travels across the length and breadth of the country.
“I learnt from conversations with young and bright minds in colleges and universities, scientists, innovators, scholars, jurists, authors, artists and leaders from across the spectrum. These interactions kept him focused and inspired,” Mukherjee said. Mukherjee congratulated and extended a warm welcome to his successor Ram Nath Kovind and wished him success.