Parliament on Sunday bid farewell to outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee at Central Hall, Parliament. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Vice-President Hamid Ansari addressed Parliament and recounted the contributions made by President Mukherjee. “Shri Mukherjee’s rich valuable legacy holds valuable lessons for us,” Hamid Ansari said. “President Pranab Mukherjee’s views on national, international issues have enhanced the stature of the top office,” Ansari said. Ansari added that President Mukherjee brought great distinction and dignity to his office. Ansari also complimented Mukherjee for the manner in which he essayed the role of the president. “He brought great distinction and dignity to the top office. His views on national and international issues have enhanced the stature of the office,” he said. Lok Sabha Speaker Mahajan termed Mukherjee’s farewell as a solemn occasion for members to express profound respect.
After Ansari and Mahajan, President Pranab Mukherjee took the dais for his final speech as the President. Mukherhee remembered his “mentor”, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as a “towering personality”. “My career was mentored by Mrs Indira Gandhi who was a towering personality. She had the courage to call a spade a spade,” Mukherjee said as he related an interesting incident that happened in London after the Congress’ defeat post Emergency. “After Independence, we undertook to promote fraternity, dignity and unity of the nation. These ideals became the lodestar for the country,” Mukherjee said.
Mukherjee also made special about governance and his tenure as the President of India. “As the President, I have tried to protect, preserve, defend the Constitution, not just in letter but in spirit as well” Mukherjee said. He added Ordinance route should only be adopted in compelling circumstances. In an important message, Mukherjee said, “Parliament stands for debate, discussion, dissent and disruption hurts opposition more.”