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BR Ambedkar ensured India did not opt for presidential form of government, says Pranab Mukherjee

Kolkata: Former president Pranab Mukherjee hailed the contribution of BR Ambedkar, and said he ensured that the country did not opt for the presidential form of government like in other constitutions. Our Constitution remains very important and relevant even 68 years after it was adopted and many times it "counts", he said.

 BR Ambedkar ensured India did not opt for presidential form of government, says Pranab Mukherjee

File image of former president Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

He was speaking at the celebration of BR Ambedkar Jayanti at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), a scientific research institute in the city. Narrating an incident that took place during his days in office, Mukherjee said that he had to intervene in one case asking the prime minister to advise a governor who had been indicted by the Supreme Court. He, however, did not name the governor or the state.

"I had to tell the prime minister, minister prime minister you advise the governor who has been indicted by the Supreme Court in its judgment for his indiscretion and wrong interpretation of the Constitution as a consequence of dismissing an elected government which had been highly censured by the SC". "I said he should quit," Mukherjee said. "Of course he listened to the advice of the prime minister...," he said.

The former president said the country has adopted the parliamentary form of government whose essence is flexibility. "When the Constitution stipulates the governor's tenure will depend on the pleasure of the president it means pleasure of the government which is an elected government. And there lies no scope of any discretionary power", he observed.

Paying tributes to Ambedkar whom he called "the principal architect of the Constitution", he said it remained a charter for transformation of socio-economic conditions of the vast multitude of people of the country. He said Ambedkar had "ensured that the country did not opt for the presidential form of government like in other constitutions".

On the IACS, he said it was founded in 1876 by another great visionary and an acclaimed medical practitioner of his time Dr Mahendralal Sircar for advancement in scientific research. "Sircar, like Ambedkar, was a great son of the country", he added.

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Updated Date: May 01, 2018 21:18:45 IST