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Indira Gandhi mentored me, says Prez Pranab Mukherjee in farewell speech

Calling her a towering personality, Prez Mukherjee remembered the former PM in his speech

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Pranab Mukherjee
President Pranab Mukherjee during his farewell in Parliament’s Central Hall in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: PTI

Outgoing President on Sunday remembered his "mentor", former Prime Minister as a "towering personality" in his farewell speech to parliamentarians.

"My career as a parliamentarian was no doubt mentored by Mrs Her steely determination, clarity of thought and decisive actions made her a towering personality. She never hesitated to call a spade a spade.," Mukherjee said.

The President went on to relate an interesting incident that happened in London after the Congress' defeat post

"I remember after the defeat of Congress in the post-election, we had gone to London in November 1978. A large number of mediapersons in a fairly aggressive mood were waiting to ask Mrs Gandhi questions.

"The first question flung at her was: 'What have been your gains from the ' Looking at the journalist squarely in the eye, in a level voice, replied: 'In those 21 months, we comprehensively managed to alienate all sections of Indian people."

The answer resulted in a big silence, followed by loud laughter, Mukherjee said.

"Not one question was asked after that and the media persons just melted away. And I also learnt an early lesson of acknowledging my mistakes and rectifying them. Self-correction in such situations is always a better option than self-justification," he said.

First Published: Mon, July 24 2017. 10:59 IST