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Modi writes farewell letter to ex-president, Pranab Mukherjee shares on Twitter

Former President tweets out copy of letter in which Prime Minister fondly remembers the time they shared together

india Updated: Aug 03, 2017 17:23 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister,PM Narendra Modi,President Pranab
Former President Pranab Mukherjee (left) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi press buttons to launch the 'Goods and Services Tax (GST)' at midnight on May 30 in parliament. (PTI file photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised former President Pranab Mukherjee’s “strength of intellect and wisdom”, which, he said in his farewell letter to the President last week, helped them work with synergy despite believing in different ideologies.

Mukherjee tweeted out on Thursday a copy of the letter, which he said “touched my heart”.

The letter offers glimpses of the Prime Minister’s deep respect for Mukherjee, who was one of the senior-most leaders of Modi’s arch-rival party, the Congress, before he became President in 2012.

“Pranab da, our political journeys took shape in different political parties. Our ideologies, at times, have been different. Our experiences are also varied. My administrative experience was from my state, whereas you have seen the expanse of our national polity and politics for decades...”

“Yet, such is the strength of your intellect and wisdom that we were able to work together with synergy,” the PM said in his letter.

Mukherjee retired as President last month.

During one of his farewell speeches earlier, Mukherjee had said that there were differences between the PM and him but it never affected the functioning of the government.

Modi showered praise on Mukherjee, describing him as a father-figure whose legacy will continue to guide him. “We will continue to draw strength from your democratic vision of taking everyone along,” said Modi, a leader often criticised by rivals for taking unilateral decisions.

The PM said Mukherjee opened “the Rashtrapati Bhavan to initiatives and programmes that recognized innovation and the talent of India’s youth” as an example of him placing the wellbeing of the nation over everything else.

Mukherjee told HT recently that his personal equation with Modi remains very good and will continue to remain like that.

Shortly after the former President’s tweet disclosing the letter on Thursday, the Prime Minister tweeted from his personal account attaching it and said:

The message echoed what he had written in the letter.

“You have been so warm, affectionate and caring to me. Your one phone call asking me ‘I hope you are taking care of your health’ was enough to fill me with fresh energy, after a long day at meetings or in campaign tours.”

The PM said Mukherjee was a repository of knowledge. “I have always marvelled at your insights on various subjects, ranging from policy to politics, economics to external affairs, and security issues to subjects of national and global importance. Your intellectual prowess has constantly helped my government and me.”

First Published: Aug 03, 2017 14:11 IST