New Delhi, June 30 (IBNS) Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee is not regretful that he was overlooked for the post of Prime Minister always despite being the chief trouble shooter of the Congress party and the UPA government it spearheads for a very long time.
Does he feel bad or have a regret that he was overlooked for Prime Minister was the question put to him by the NDTV and pat came the reply: "No not at all. I believe that the party has given me much more than what I have given to the party."
To the interviewer, he said: "Why should I regret? The party President has trusted me, has considered me capable of discharging certain responsibilities, by me alone. That is a great trust. Therefore, the party has trusted me and through the party I have been an MP for almost 4 decades and it will be more than 4 decades."
"I was a Minister for 22 years. Therefore, I don't regret. I am rather quite happy and satisfied that the party has given me enough. Rather I have not done that much as what the party has given me," said Mukherjee who would start his campaign for the July 19 election from Chennai on Saturday.
Asked how he felt being congratulated by opposition leaders like Yashwant Sinha even before he was elected and have the wishes of many friends from opposition ranks, he said it was not new to him and there "are many political leaders in India whose works are appreciated and they are respected by cross sections of the party."
"I am not the unique one and on this occasion it has happened like that. And here I would like to say it is their graciousness, rather than my competence, that they have just favoured me with that support, and I would like to take it in that way," he said.
On his relationship with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who refused to support him in the presidential race, he said their relations is not stormy.
'... it was not stormy in the sense, because sometimes she had her own angularity or approach, which I did not agree, but it was not stormy, and secondly she is running a party of her own, and what are her compulsions she understands better than anybody else, Till today, as I understand, she has not yet taken decision," he said.
"So I have appealed to all political parties, who have not yet taken decision to support me, because now I am the official candidate of the UPA, plus other parties, UPA plus nominee," he said.
Pitted against former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma, Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday submitted his resignation from the post of Finance Minister to contest the presidential polls.
In another interview to CNN IBN, Mukherjee said he loves P A Sangma but would not go into any debate with him.
"I love Sangma, but where is the question of a debate? There is no issue to be debated upon. Debate takes place on issues raised by political parties during general elections," Mukherjee said.