New Delhi, July 17: President Pranab Mukherjee will demit office on July 24 after having a good five years as the constitutional head of the state. Voting for the Presidential poll will happen on Monday and the results will be declared on July 20. NDA candidate Ramnath Kovind is the favourite to be the next President of the country.
After having an illustrious political career, the UPA nominated Pranab Mukherjee for the office of President in 2012. Pranab Mukherjee, who was known to have friends in every political party, won the elections hands down with around 70 per cent votes in his kitty. Many members of the Opposition camp also voted for him, not his electoral opponent PA Sangma.
President Pranab has had a comfortable tenure as the 13th President of the country. He enjoyed a good reputation with both the governments in his tenure. From 2012 to 2014, the Congress government was in power. He had been a lifelong Congress member. It was but natural that he would have a good working relationship with the party. But when the Modi government came to power, he also had a good working relationship with them. Recently in a function, he said he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had different views on things, but they kept them to themselves, hence, they had a good relationship. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said President Pranab cared for him like a father would for his son.
That he enjoyed good relationships with governments doesn’t mean that he didn’t voice his independent views. Time and again he spoke about national integrity and unity. He was firm on three issues– to follow the Parliamentary rules, the importance of religious freedom and diversity in the country, and the importance of the free press. In his speeches, he talked about these issues several times. He didn’t mince words to lecture the Opposition on letting Parliament function when they disrupted the House with regularity. (Also read: Presidential Election 2017 Voting LIVE News Updates: PM Narendra Modi Casts His Vote)
President Pranab Mukherjee knew when to intervene, when not to. He cautioned governments without overstepping the line or meddle in administrative rights of the executive. He had once cautioned the Modi government over ordinances, saying enacting laws with discussion breaches the trust of the people. He said this on the eve of the 66th Republic Day. He also once lectured the Opposition on the importance of a functioning Parliament. ” The legislature reflects the will of the people. It is the platform where progressive legislation using civilized dialogue must create delivery mechanisms for realizing the aspirations of the people,” he had said.
He had also spoken at length about unity in diversity in a 1.3 billion strong country.
“The idea of secularism is deeply ingrained in the consciousness of our nation. It has to be further strengthened in the minds of the young ones to build a harmonious society,” he had said.
“It mesmerises me when I shut my eyes and think that in our country 1.3 billion people who are using more than 100 languages, practising 7 major religions, belonging to 3 major ethnic groups are residing under one system, one flag and one identity of being Indian. That is the celebration of our diversity,” he said in 2017.
“There should always be room for the argumentative Indian but not for the intolerant Indian,” he had said on dissent in the democracy.
President Pranab Mukherjee proved that he was not the rubber stamp President. He turned down pleas of 37 convicts in the first four years of his tenure, according to Mail Today. This includes Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab (hanged on November 21, 2012) Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru (hanged on February 10, 2013) and 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon (July 30, 2015). All three were brought to justice for their horrific crimes.