NEW DELHI: Pointing out that MPs “should always follow Gandhian philosophy while exercising their rights of debate and dissent in Parliament”, outgoing President Ram Nath Kovind today described Parliament a “temple of democracy” before congratulating his successor Droupadi Murmu.Urging political parties to rise above partisan politics, Kovind said leaders must act in the national interest and decide what is necessary for the welfare of the people. “They may have differences at times like any family, but they should work together for the larger interests of the country,” Kovind said.
Murmu, who was elected India’s 15th President on July 21, will assume office on July 25. Kovind’s tenure as the head of state ends tomorrow. Expressing gratitude to Indian citizens for giving him the opportunity to serve as President, Kovind recalled at a farewell function organised by parliamentarians that “five years ago I took oath as President of India here in Central Hall”.
Vice-President K Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla attended the farewell function which was also attended by senior ministers and a large number of MPs from both Houses.The outgoing President was presented a citation on behalf of the parliamentarians by Birla. Besides, a memento and a signature book signed by the MPs were also gifted to Kovind.
Congratulating Murmu for being elected his successor, Kovind that the country will “benefit from her guidance”. Modi hosted a well-attended dinner in Kovind’s honour on July 22. Union Cabinet members, chief ministers of various states, Murmu and other dignitaries, including Venkaiah Naidu, Birla and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also attended the dinner.
Once the dinner was over, Modi took to Twitter, saying, “Hosted dinner in honour of President Kovind Ji. Smt. Droupadi Murmu Ji, Venkaiah Ji, and other esteemed dignitaries, including ministers were present. We were also glad to welcome several grassroots level achievers, Padma awardees, tribal community leaders and others at the dinner”.