On the 23rd of July, 2017, Mr. Pranab Mukharjee celebrated hi last day in the Parliament and as the President of India. He was greeted with a warm farewell by the parliamentary members and gave an enlightening address to all. Overwhelmed with the proceedings, he thanked Parliament for ‘creating’ him and expressed his warm relations with PM Narendra Modi, appreciating him for bringing various “transformational changes.”
Mr. Mukharjee, who completed 37 years in the Parliament, hailed the Indian democracy at the Central Hall, New Delhi, on Sunday.
Reminiscing his initial days as a Parliamentarian, he talked about the day he entered the magnificent building, 40 years ago, when he was just 37 years old.
He had served as a member of both the Houses of the Parliament. Of them, he served five terms as member of the Rajya Sabha, of which, four times, he was elected from West Bengal and one time from Gujarat and two terms in the Lok Sabha.
He expressed his views on the members of the parliament and stated that:
“Not a single part of this vast territory of 3.3 million square kilometers of landmass and islands is unrepresented in the Parliament. Each of the 788 voices of MPs is important”
In his address, he had a piece of advice for the Government, wherein, he stated that ordinances should be the last resort for the government. He said that:
“When Parliament fails to discharge its lawmaking role or enacts laws without discussion, I feel it breaches the trust reposed in it by the people of this great country”
According to him, the passage of the GST Bill was a sign of Parliament’s maturity and its launch on July 1 was a shining example of cooperative federalism. He also stated that values like fraternity, dignity and unity had become the lodestar for the country since Independence.
The President in his farewell speech referred former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as his “mentor”. Mukherjee while sharing an incident that happened in London after the Congress’ defeat post Emergency, said, “My career was mentored by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who was a towering personality. She had the courage to call a spade a spade. After the Congress’ and her own defeat post Emergency, she went to London in 1978.”
Speaking on his responsibilities as the President of the nation, Mukherjee said, “As the President, I have tried to protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution, not just in letter but in spirit as well.”