Kolkata, July 9 (Agency)
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee Monday turned nostalgic and recalled the time when he was first elected to the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal.
"It was July 4, 1969 that I was first elected to the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal. Along with me, five other people were also elected. This Council Hall from where I am addressing you now was the place when I was given my first election certificate," said Mukherjee while addressing media persons at the Nusher Ali Meeting Hall of the state assembly.
He said that in his over four decade long political career, he had received more than what he had given to others.
"In my 43-year-long career as a political activist, I have held many positions. But I have received more from people, my party and you all than what I have given," said Mukherjee who resigned as the country's finance minister June 26 to bring down the curtains on his long political career.
To buttress the point, the veteran leader ended his media meet by reciting a Bengali poem by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore that had the words "I took far more than I gave" (translation by William Radice).
Dwelling on the august post of president, Mukherjee said that far more illustrious people than him have served as the country's constitutional head.
"There have been many illustrious personalities who have held the presidential post. Many of them have led the freedom struggle of the country. They have enshrined the essence of Indian values and ethos of civilisation. That is why the Indian Constitution is described as the most magnificent Magna Carta of the socio-economic transformation of a vast multitude of people," he said.
"If I get the opportunity, as a president, my responsibility would be to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and discharge the functions as enshrined in the Constitution," added Mukherjee.