UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee said it would be his endeavor to protect the "values of the office of President"--integrity and impartiality.
"The President stands above party politics. Given an opportunity, it shall be my endeavor to protect the values of this office: integrity, impartiality and the promotion of `sarva dharma sambhav' which constitutes the spirit and essence of our Constitution," Mukherjee said in a letter to Congress MLAs and MPs here.
Mukherjee, as a part of his campaign, gave a copy of the letter to every Congress MP and MLA from Gujarat. "I was schooled in politics by the pro-poor commitment of Mrs Indira Gandhi and it remains my dream to eliminate the last vestiges of that terrifying affliction called poverty within our lifetime," the letter said.
"I have been unwavering in my pursuit of this in whatever responsibility that has come my way in all my years of public life. "I began my public life from my ancestral village in Bengal. At times like this, it is only human to admit a tinge of sentiment: my father late Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee, a freedom fighter, and my mother Rajlakshmi inspired me towards public service," he said in the letter.
"I am humbled and honored by my nomination as candidate for the 14th election of President of India. This office has been held by the very best of that great generation that constituted the founding fathers of independent, modern India: Dr Rajendra Prasad, Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Dr Zakir Hussain and their worthy successors," the letter said.
"Any aspirant to this exalted position has to live up to the standards they set and the tradition they established to strengthen the democratic and constitutional foundation of our country over the past six decades. This I will endeavor to do with utmost sincerity," Mukherjee said.