Kolkata: As the presidential election approaches, UPA's candidate Pranab Mukherjee on Monday went down the memory lane to recollect how he was first elected to the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal.
"I was first elected to the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal on July 4, 1969 along with five other people. The council hall in the Assembly from where I addressed the members today was the place where I received my first election certificate," Mukherjee told a press conference after meeting CPM, Forward Bloc, SP and DSP members.
He said that in his career spanning over four decades in active politics, he held many positions.
"But I have received more from people, my party and you all (media) than what I have given you," Mukherjee said.
He then went lyrical reading out from a Tagore poem to describe the interaction with media as the last in his career as a political activist: "Peyechi chuti biday deha bhai, jabar aage pronam kare jai....diyachi ja payechi tar beshi" (I have got leave let me bid adieu ...I took far more than I had given).
"Given the opportunity, my responsibility as President would be to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and discharge the functions as enshrined in the Constitution," Mukherjee said.
Recollecting his association with the media, Mukherjee described the relation between journalists and politicians as akin to fish and water; one cannot do without the other.
"The relation between politicians and journalists is like that between fish and water. Just as fish can't live without water, our professional careers are also intrinsically linked," he observed.
Mukherjee even thanked the media for the support and cooperation he received from them all these years despite being rude to them sometimes.
"I have had relation with you or your predecessors for nearly 50 years. One chapter of that relation is over today," Mukherjee signed off.