The Lok Sabha witnessed a rare show of camaraderie between Leader of Opposition and Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani and Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday when the former lauded the union minister for his role as the principal trouble-shooter of the government.
"Sometimes I think, had Pranab not been there what would happen to this government? Whenever there is a crisis, he is there. 25 years ago, he presented the budget and did so again on Monday as it was a crisis situation," Advani said in his opening remarks during the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's address.
Mukherjee blushingly smiled and welcomed the statement with folded hands even as the House applauded with thumping of desks.
Advani said he had known Mukherjee for many years and had always appreciated his abilities. "Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee is one year senior to me in Parliament. I was first elected to Rajya Sabha in 1970 while he was elected one year before," Advani said, adding, "Ever since I was introduced to Pranab I have always appreciated his ability, his strength and his capability to shoulder responsibility."
Later in his speech, Advani said the Parliament had witnessed a new low during the trust vote. "Pranab, I and the Speaker who joined one year after me had never seen buying and selling of MPs.....We will not be there tomorrow. The future generations will not forgive us," he said.
Mukherjee, Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha, who stands in for a recuperating Prime Minister Manmohan Sigh, headed various Groups of Ministers in the United Progressive Alliance government, led the negotiations with the Left parties on Indo-United States nuclear agreement and is considered to be a trouble-shooter for the Congress party and the government.