July 23, 2017 6:47:11 pm
In his farewell speech as the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday remembered his “mentor”, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as a “towering personality”. “My career was mentored by Mrs Indira Gandhi who was a towering personality. She had the courage to call a spade a spade,” Mukherjee said as he related an interesting incident that happened in London after the Congress’ defeat post Emergency.
“After the Congress’ and her own defeat post Emergency, she went to London in 1978. A battery of mediapersons, in a fairly aggressive mood were waiting to ask questions. The first question was: ‘What had been your gains from Emergency?’. Looking directly into the eyes of mediapersons, in a level voice she replied: ‘In those 21 months we comprehensively managed to alienate all sections of people’,” Mukherjee recalled in his last speech inside Parliament.
After a few seconds of silence, there was laughter, he said. “Nobody after that asked a question about Emergency and the mediapersons melted away,” he said.
Mukherjee’s tenure ended on Sunday and he will be replaced by Ram Nath Kovind who won the presidential elections defeating Meira Kumar.
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