Invoking Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, President Pranab Mukhejee who completes his term in August this year made a veiled attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi style of functioning, at the India Today Conclave in Mumbai.
President said he does not want India to be a country in which millions of people say yes to one man.
“I want a strong opposition”, said President delivering the special address at the India Today Conclave 2017.
Making his preference for the Congress rule public, he praised Jawahrala Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
Mukherjee, who was the finance minster during UPA time, said economic growth at that time helped India to overcome the depression that gripped world economy.
Four of the five years during the UPA-I the growth rate was more than 8 per cent. The base of Indian economy was so strong that it sustained 2008 global economic crisisPresident Pranab Mukherjee
He said the rate of investment was about 38 percent of the GDP with sound rate of savings adding that various Congress governments worked hard to strengthen the fundamentals of Indian economy.
He also said that the real aggression in the history of the country was during Indira Gandhi’s 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
"That was the highpoint of assertion and aggression. If that was not aggression, then what is aggression of Indian nation," Mukherjee asked.
He said that was India's strong response that Pakistan was forced to declare unilateral ceasefire.
He, in his long speech, also remembered the contributions made by the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
President said Jawaharlal Nehru rejected hero worship and was an architect of Parliamentary system in India.
He, however, praised Narendra Modi for what he said his ability in acquiring mastery over external affairs and foreign economy in a very short span of time.
"He is observant. I appreciate when he said that you can win election by majority but to rule you need consensus," Mukherjee said about Modi.
Every other Prime Minister from Charan Singh to Chandra Shekhar, all of them had profound experience in Parliament. But a man coming straight from a provincial government and acquiring mastery over foreign relations, complicated external economy... speaks volume of himPresident Pranab Mukherjee
President also said that he is upset over continuous disruption in Parliament.
"Disruption in Parliament and law making is unacceptable to me. In 15th Lok Sabha, as much as 46.1 percent of allotted time was lost to disruption."
"Enormous power is vested in members elected to Parliament and Legislative Assemblies. Their primary job to make laws,"