Political parties should rise above partisan politics in national interest and consider what is essential for the progress and welfare of people, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Saturday.
In his farewell address to members of Parliament, at the Central Hall, President Kovind emphasised on the value of peace and harmony and said people have a right to oppose and create pressure to pursue their goals but their methods must be Gandhian.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla joined the ceremony to bid farewell to the outgoing President whose term ends on Sunday.
In the backdrop of repeated disruption of Parliamentary proceedings in the on-going Monsoon session, his comments assume significance.
“In keeping with this constitutional provision and adding my sentiment to it, I look at the President as an integral part of the Parliamentary family. As with any family, there are bound to be differences within this Parliamentary family too; there would be diverging views about how to proceed further. But we remain a family, and the interest of the nation remains our top priority,”Mr Kovind said.
He added, “Political processes operate through the mechanism of party organisations, but the parties must rise above a partisan approach and consider what is good, what is essential for the common man and woman, with the spirit of nation first”.
Mr Kovind described Swach Bharat Abhiyan to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary and Azadi Ka Amrit Mahatsov to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence as the ‘high points’ of his term.
The President not only also lauded the Union government for its handling of the COVID pandemic but also for its effort to raise the living standards of the marginalised sections and help them by providing electricity connection, drinking wtare and pucca houses.
Mr Kovind said he will always be grateful to the citizens of country for giving him the opportunity to serve as President.
The outgoing President will also address the nation on Sunday and President-Elect Droupadi Murmu will take oath as the 15th President of India on Monday. He congratulated Ms Murmu and said the country will benefit from her guidance.
After delivering his speech, President Kovind greeted union ministers and MPs who were seated in the first row seats of the Central Hall including Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, whom he patted on his back.
Addressing the gathering, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said the President Kovind's journey from a small Uttar Pradesh village to India's top constitutional post is a wonderful and inspiring achievement of the country's democracy.
Calling his speeches inspiring, Mr Birla said Mr Kovid received the full support of leaders of all parties and all MPs see him as the guardian of constitutional values and ideals.