Prime Minister Narendra Modi describes Pranab Mukherjee – Pranab Da – as his “father figure” and mentor in a letter that he wrote to the veteran on his last day as President of India.
“On my last day in office as the President, I received a letter from PM @narendramodi that touched my heart! Sharing with you all,” Mr Mukherjee tweeted today.
In the letter, PM Modi says tribute to Mr Mukherjee’s “simplicity, high principles and exemplary leadership” and expresses what he calls his profound admiration and gratitude.
“Three years ago, I came to New Delhi as an outsider. The task before me was huge and challenging. In these times, you have always been a father figure and a mentor to me. Your wisdom, guidance and personal warmth have given me greater confidence and strength,” the Prime Minister writes.
— Pranab Mukherjee (@CitiznMukherjee) August 3, 2017
“You have been so warm, affectionate and caring to me.” Describing Mr Mukherjee as a repository of knowledge, PM Modi says his intellectual prowess “constantly helped my government and me”.
The Prime Minister referred to a phone call that the 81-year-old had made to him.
“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 on a campaign tour.”
He also commented that despite their different political journeys, they were able to work together.
“Pranab Da, our political journeys took shape in different political parties. Our ideologies, at times, have been different. Our experiences are also varied…Yet, such is the strength of your intellect and wisdom that we were able to work together with synergy.
“You belong to a generation of leaders for whom politics was simply a means to selflessly give back to society,” PM Modi writes.
Signing off, the PM says: “Rashtrapati ji, it has been an honour to work with you, as your Prime Minister!”
Mr Mukherjee became President two years before PM Modi’s BJP came to power after decimating the Congress, the party that the veteran served for decades in various posts including union minister.