President Ram Nath Kovind delivers farewell speech in Parliament
In an emotional farewell speech on Saturday, a day before his tenure ends, President Ram Nath Kovind thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and invoked Mahatma Gandhi.
President Kovind was addressing the parliament, a day after he was felicitated with a farewell dinner at PM Modi’s residence. “Five years ago, I took oath as President of India here in Central Hall. All MPs have a special place in my heart,” he said during the address.
“When we see India as a big family, we realise there are multiple ways to resolve disputes. Mahatma Gandhi used peace and non-violence to instill harmony...we must adopt his ways. MPs should always follow the Gandhian philosophy while exercising rights of debate and dissent in Parliament,” he said. “I will always be grateful to the citizens of the country for giving me the opportunity to serve as President.”
Calling parliament a “temple of democracy”, he said: “As in any family, sometimes there are differences of opinion even in Parliament. But we are all members of the 'Parliament family' whose top priority is to continue working in the interest of the big joint family of the nation.”
“I thank PM Modi's council of ministers, VP Venkaiah Naidu, LS Speaker Om Birla for support during my tenure,” he underlined.
The address comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a farewell dinner for the outgoing President. Ram Nath Kovind, India's 14th president, took charge in 2017. India's 15th president - Droupadi Murmu - will be sworn in on Monday.