Don’t regret not becoming PM: Pranab
Congress-led UPA`s presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said that he had no regrets for not becoming the Prime Minister of India despite being a strong contender for the Rashtrapati Bhawan in past.
New Delhi: Former Finance Minister and Congress-led United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said that he had no regrets for not becoming the Prime Minister of India despite being a strong contender for the Rashtrapati Bhawan in past.
In an interview with a leading TV news channel, the veteran Congress leader said, “I feel honoured and humbled that the UPA leadership has nominated me for the President’s post. I am happy to do what my party wanted me to do. I don’t regret that I did not become the Prime Minister.”
The Congress party stalwart, who has earned his reputation as the UPA government’s biggest crisis manager and the consensus builder, was also quoted as saying that in the coalition system it is not easy to decide on the Presidential candidate.
Pranab also lauded the Prime Minister by saying, “Dr Manmohan Singh is worthy of being the Prime Minister. He will be the second man who`ll complete second terms.
When asked to react to the challenge thrown at him by the Opposition candidate PA Sangma for a presidential debate, the Congress leader said, “I love Sangma, but there is no scope for a debate on Presidential candidate because a debate takes place only on issues.”
However, he categorically rubbished speculations that he fears the presidential debate will get distracted from real issues and focus more on the individual’s personal achievements and stature.
When he was reminded that Trinamool Congress –a major UPA alliance partner- was strongly opposed to his candidature for the president’s post, Pranab said, “Mamata is yet to take her decision on Presidential candidate. I hope she will support me,” adding, “Mamata has explained her reasons for not supporting with me as she thought APJ Kalam was a better candidate than me.
When asked what he actually intended to after retiring from politics, Pranab said, “After retiring from politics I wanted to read books. Library would have been my destination.”
The 77-year old Congress leader talked about his distinguished political career spanning over four decades and revealed his personal side a day after he filed nominations for the July 19 presidential election.
Pranab filed the papers in the company of the entire UPA leadership, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and a host of Cabinet Ministers and leaders from supporting parties.
After submitting the papers, he also expressed his gratitude to all the parties who have supported him to occupy a post that has been held in the past by stalwarts.
He also invoked divine blessings for his election campaign.