Kolkata: UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said any aspirant to the exalted post has to live up to the standards set by the founding fathers of modern India.

Citing the examples of Dr Rajendra Prasad, Dr Savepalli Radhakrishnan, Dr Zakir Hussain and their successors, he said, it would be his endeavour to live up to the standards they set and traditions they established with utmost sincerity.

Noting that he was schooled in politics by the pro-poor commitment of Indira Gandhi, Mukherjee in his address to Left legislators of the CPI(M), FB, SP and DSP in the assembly premises here said, "It remains my dream to eliminate the last vestiges of that terrifying affliction called poverty within our lifetimes."

Mukherjee said the passage of a nation's life could never be continuously free from disputation. "This makes it imperative that we set aside differences and unite to serve the nation."

He said that he began his public life from his ancestral village in Bengal and that it was human to admit with a tinge of sentiment that his freedom fighter father Kamda Kinkar and mother Rajalaksmi, inspired  him towards public service.

"My parents generation dreamt of that tryst with destiny which remains the sacred goal of an India vibrant with economic progress, social harmony and freedom from fear of inequality," Mukherjee said.

"They bequeathed to us the sacred duty of converting their dreams into reality," he said.

He also said that the nation should be taken towards "that horizon where every young citizen, irrespective of caste, creed or religion becomes an equal claimant to opportunities."
Mukherjee said that he felt honoured that the UPA and its supporting parties and other parties and individuals considered him worthy of the President's post.
"The President's office stands above party politics. Given an opportunity, it shall be my endeavour to protect the values of this office: Integrity, impartiality and promotion of sarva dharma sambhav, which constitute the spirit and essence of our Constitution."


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