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On campaign, Pranab hopes to see developed Kashmir
SRINAGAR, Jul 15: Describing Kashmir as a “beautiful state”, the UPA presidential candidate, Pranab Mukherjee, today hoped that the Jammu and Kashmir would be developed to its full potential “within the parameters of Constitutional functioning and Constitutional responsibility.”

“I would like to definitely see that this beautiful state (Jammu and Kashmir) gets its most rightful place. I hope it is developed to the full potential of course within the parameters of constitutional functioning and constitutional responsibility,” Mukherjee said talking to media persons on the sidelines of his meeting with the Congress and NC legislators at SKICC here.

Mukherjee, the former Union Finance Minister, was on a day’s visit to the valley for campaigning before the upcoming presidential elections. He held a detailed session with the legislators of NC-Congress coalition while he also met the leaders of principal opposition, PDP and several independent MLAs.

Mukherjee described the “meetings as the part of thanksgiving to the political parties that extended support to his Presidential race.”

“…it is the practice that I visit the states to express my gratitude and offer thanks to the political leaders, legislators, MPs for the support they gave me,” he said.

Asked about Mamta Banerjee’s reluctance to support his presidential candidature, he said it was for her to decide.

“I appeal to her (Mamta Banerjee) almost every day...that is for her to decide,” he said.

The meeting of Mukherjee with NC-Congress legislators and later with PDP leadership was closed door. However, the photographers and videographers were allowed to do their professional work for five minutes.

Speaking to the legislators of coalition and other allies, the UPA presidential candidate said he had no other identity then the presidential candidate. “Today is a peculiar situation as I cannot speak on behalf of party. I cannot speak on behalf of government because I am nobody in the government. I had to resign from the party. I am just a presidential candidate, except that I have no other identity,” he said.

“Of course, with the support of the elect members of the Electoral College, when I will be elected as president I will have the identity and I will be able to satisfy you,” he said.

His visit, he said, was to express gratitude to the political parties that supported his candidature.

“Immediately after the announcement of my candidature,” he said, “UPA, SP, BSP, JD(S) endorsed my candidature. And afterwards number of other parties at the national level and state level supported me. So I decided that I shall visit the states to express my gratitude.”

In his address, referring to Parliamentary form of democracy Pranab recalled that when the Constitution of India was being framed, the then British Prime Minister wrote to the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru criticizing the country’s decision to adopt Parliamentary form of democracy. “You made a wrong choice,” he told Nehru.

“But later following the first general election in the country, the same dignitary withdrew his remark and congratulated Nehru for farsightedness of Indian leadership,” Pranab recalled appreciating essence of this form of democracy.

The UPA presidential candidate requested the Congress-NC legislators to vote for him. The MLAs from the allied parties including Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami, Ghulam Hassan Mir and Hakeem Mohmmad Yaseen also attended the session. Union Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, PCC president Prof. Saifuddin Soz made welcome speeches.

The legislators from both parties as also members of the allied parties assured Mukherjee that they were feeling proud to vote for a luminary like him who according to them would adorn Rashtrapati Bhavan after a land slide victory in the forthcoming election to the high office of president of India.

Mukherjee posed for photograph with the legislators.

At the outset, Omar and Soz welcomed him and presented Kashmiri shawl to him on behalf of their parties.

Omar invited him to visit Kashmir after his election as the President of India. Extending him an invitation to visit Tulip Garden, the Chief Minister said, “This year season has lapsed to visit Tulip Garden to capture its best sight yet after your election as the President of India, you should definitely visit it next year when it is in full bloom.”

Prof. Soz shared with the legislators that Mukherjee had accepted his suggestion that on his assumption of the office as president of India he would visit J&K first of all.

Those, who received Pranab Mukherjee on his arrival at the Airport included J&K PCC President Prof Saifuddin Soz, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, Dr Mustrafa Kamal, Devinder Rana, Mubarak Gul, senior Congress leaders Krishan K. Amla, Mohd Muzaffar Parray, Ghulam Nabi Monga, Bashir Ahmad Magray, Abdul Majid Paddar.

About seventy senior Congress and NC leaders were present at the Airport.

News Updated at : Monday, July 16, 2012
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