Arun Jaitley praises Pranab Mukherjee

In a show of bonhomie, the Leader of the Oppostion Arun Jaitley on Thursday showered lavish praises on senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee saying he is like a "professor" in Parliament.

Updated: May 26, 2011, 23:04 PM IST

New Delhi: In a show of bonhomie, the Leader
of the Oppostion Arun Jaitley on Thursday showered lavish praises
on senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee saying he is like a
"professor" in Parliament and it was "dual honour" for him to
be clubbed with Mukherjee for an award.
"In Parliament, whether he (Mukherjee)has been in
opposition or government, he is almost like a professor
himself, who knows India`s politics, India`s Parliament, who
knows the country and its governance almost like the back of
his hand", Jaitley said at a function where he received an
honorary degree by a leading British University from its
Chancellor and NRI Industrialist Lord Swraj Paul.

Jaitley said Mukherjee "can spell out events from the
past from his memory and therefore for me to be clubbed with
him is almost like a dual honour and privillege which is being
conferred on me".

The BJP leader was speaking at a function in which
he and Mukherjee were conferred with the degree of `Doctor of
Letters` by Wolverhampton University, the highest award a UK
university can bestow.

Jaitley also gave a call for restoring "credibility"
to politics in the country, which he said "at times get
eroded".
Thanking the Wolverhampton University for chosing a
senior minister and an opposition leader together from India
for conferring the degrees, he said it reflected the maturity
of Indian democracy.

"When I entered Parliament, he (Mukherjee) was already
a tall figure for more than three decades by the time. I have
always believed that the competence calibre and eminence of
our political leaders is also determined by the longevity of
the process in which he is a part. The very fact that you
managed such a long innings itself is an indication of your
distinction," Jaitley said.

Jaitley also chose the occasion to emphasize that
credibility in politics has to be stored.

"We in India are in the business of politics, which
has to be almost synonymous with public service. One of the
greatest challenges before us has been to somehow strengthen
the credibility of this institution which at times get
eroded," he said.

The BJP leader added "our greatest asset in public
service has to be to restore our credibility and eventually
to make the country strong."

Jaitley said that as the University has selected both
a minister from the government as well as a leader of the
opposition for the award, the one vision that should be common
for them is to strengthen the nation thorough this
instrumentality of public service.

He said it also indicates that India now stands
recognized in the entire comity of nations as a growing power
and as a nation that cannot be ignored.

PTI