Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee will receive a farewell by members of both Houses of Parliament on July 23. Farewell is scheduled a day before his term ends.
Presidential elections are due on July 17 where NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind and Opposition’s Meira Kumar will face a contest.
President Mukherjee is the 13th President of India. He has been in office since July 25, 2012. He succeeded Pratibha Patil, who was the only woman to hold the office.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently expressed deep admiration for the outgoing President. Modi said President Mukherjee cared for him like a father would care for his son.
There was never a meeting between us in the last three years when the President did not treat me like a son, said PM Modi.
“I am saying this from deep within. Like a father caring for his son…,” an emotional Modi said.
“Modi ji, you will have to rest for half day, Pranab da would say. ‘Why are you running around so much; you must cut down on your programmes. You will have to take care of your health.’
“It was during the UP polls that he told me that win and loss happen all the time but will you take care of your body or not? It was not part of his responsibilities as the president but it was the humane person inside him which cared for a friend,” the prime minister said.
Mukherjee is an inspirational figure, he said as he recalled his association with people from different walks of life who made an impact on him.
Mukherjee, too, expressed his “deep gratitude and appreciation” for Modi.
The President said he can claim with confidence that “the functioning of the government was never disturbed, never stopped, never delayed”.
“It did not affect the relationship between the president and the prime minister, between the titular head and the actual head of the administration,” Mukherjee said while talking about his relationship with Modi.
Mukherjee said at times he would seek clarifications from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was also present at the occasion.
The book- a photo essay brought out by the Statesman group- Modi said, would spotlight the humane aspect of the President who is often seen by people as somebody driven by protocol.
People would know through photographs that their president laughs like a child.
“They will also see the self-confidence of our president in front of foreign dignitaries, however big in size they may be,” he said in a lighter vein, praising Mukherjee, a man of short height.
(With inputs from PTI)