President pays rich tributes to Motilal Nehru



New Delhi: Launching the commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Motilal Nehru, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said institutions evolved by leaders like him should be strengthened instead of being destroyed.

Paying rich tributes to Motilal, he listed his achievements like his role in evolving of Public Accounts Committee and protecting independence of Legislature from the influence of the Executive by establishing a separate cadre for the Central Legislative Assembly, now Parliament.

Deviating from his prepared speech, he spoke at length about the Nehru Commission Report, Motilal's role in the 1919 and 1928 sessions of the Indian National Congress and the "ideological differences" that he developed with his son Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi.

"We can pay due respect to him in the 150th year if we follow his principles, respect institutions, strengthen institutions, you can achieve much more by strengthening and respecting institutions than by destroying those institutions," he said in the function attended by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and others.

Calling himself a "student of history", he said Motilal's 'Swaraj Party' acted as a "disciplined assault force" in the Legislative Assembly and he was credited with evolving the system of a Public Accounts Committee which is now one of the "most effective watchdogs" over executive in matters of money and finance.

Mukherjee also received the first set of coins and postal stamps released at the function to commemorate the event.

In her speech, Gandhi said Motilal Nehru was one of the leaders whose achievements have been "overlooked" in modern India and dwelled on his vital role in the Nehru Commission report and the draft Constitution, whose ingredients are part of India's Constitution.

PTI