Presidential nominee of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said there was no need for a political debate on the Presidential election as the President had no powers to formulate the country’s policies and programmes.

The former Finance Minister, who addressed Congress MLAs, MLCs and MPs at the Congress Bhavan here, said as per the Constitution, the President acts on the advice given by the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. The Council of Ministers was accountable to Parliament, he said.

“The President is above party politics,” he said, and added, “the President represents the essence of the Indian culture, diverse cultural ethos and democratic spirit. The President’s office symbolises diverse religions, ethnicity, and culture.”

Therefore, Opposition parties such as Shiv Sena, CPI, CPI(M), Forward Bloc, Janata Dal (United) and Janata Dal (Secular) had extended support to him, Mr. Mukherjee said.

“With all humility I accepted the offer given by Congress president Sonia Gandhi” and decided to contest the election, he said, and appealed to all political parties to extend support to him in the election to be held on July 19.

Political journey

Recalling his four-decade-long political journey, Mr. Mukherjee said, “The Congress laid the path for the country’s progress and development.”

“Now, I am entering into a new area,” he said, and recalled the rich legacy left by the former Presidents such as Rajendra Prasad, and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

Earlier, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G. Parameshwara welcomed Mr. Mukherjee and lauded his contribution to the country in the last few decades. “Mr. Mukherjee guided the economy as the Commerce and Finance Minister,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, Union Ministers S.M. Krishna, M. Mallikarjun Kharge, M. Veerappa Moily and K.H. Muniyappa, MPs, MLAs, MLCs and former Minters were present.

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