Can't comment on Afzal Guru till assuming office: Pranab

Pranab Mukherjee
New Delhi, Jul 23: President-elect Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday that he could not comment on the clemency plea of Afzal Guru, convicted in the 2001 Parliament attack, till he formally assumed the office and took up the matter.

Mukherjee, the former Finance Minister, said this to a news channel during an interview after his overwhelming victory in the just-concluded presidential election against PA Sangma. The Afzal Guru case was one of the crucial issues that would come up soon after Mukherjee is sworn in as the 13th President of India.

The Shiv Sena, an NDA alliance which supported Mukherjee, said it was expecting Pranab to reject Afzal Guru's mercy plea. Sena chief Bal Thackeray said in the party mouthpiece - Saamna that this was something urgent Mukherjee should do.

Mukherjee, who had a distinguished political career spanning over four decades, was not just backed by the UPA allies but also NDA parties like the Sena and JD(U). Some other smaller parties close to the BJP also voted in favour of Mukherjee. The man from Bengal's Birbhum district said he was overwhelmed by such support and considered it to be a reward to his long political career.

Mukherjee also said that he was concerned with the increasing animosity between political parties and assured to act as a President above partisan politics. "It has been a long journey from Mirati to Raisina," said the veteran leader.

He will take oath as the 13th President of India on Wednesday and formally move into the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

OneIndia News

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