Prez Mukherjee addresses nation, says 'Constitution has been my sacred text'
| Updated: Jul 25, 2017 02:02 IST
New Delhi [India], July 24 (ANI): Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that the Constitution of India is his sacred text and the Parliament a 'temple'. Addressing the nation on the eve of demitting office as the 13th President of India, President Mukherjee said, For the past fifty years of my public life, - My sacred text has been the Constitution of India; My temple has been the Parliament of India; and My passion has been the service of the people of India.Underling the importance of the Constitution of India he said, When I took the oath of office of the President of the Republic, I promised to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution, not just in word but also in spirit. Each day of these five years, I was conscious of my responsibility.He expressed deep gratitude towards the people of the country and political parties for reposing trust in him and said he has received much more from the country than he has given to it. On the eve of stepping down from office, I am overwhelmed by a deep sense of gratitude for the people of India, their elected representatives and the political parties for the trust and confidence they reposed in me, he said.Thanking people of the country for their kindness and affection, Mukherjee further said he would remain indebted to the people of India forever.He also congratulated and extended a warm welcome to Ram Nath Kovind, the President-to-be and wished him success and happiness in the years to come.Concluding his speech with Jai Hind the President said, When I speak to you tomorrow, it will not be as the President but as a citizen a pilgrim like all of you in Indias onward march towards glory.Earlier on Saturday, President Mukherjee attended a farewell dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The Prime Minister hosted the ceremony at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, where president-elect Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, senior ministers and Opposition leaders were also present.The president, who is also Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was also given a farewell by the chiefs of the armed forces.President-elect Ram Nath Kovind will take oath as the 14th President of India on Tuesday (July 25). (ANI)