New Delhi: Lavishing
praise on Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for his "exemplary
public service", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday
underlined that the success of the UPA government owed much to his
"trouble-shooting skills" and the "inspiring leadership" of
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
"There are few people in our politics today who can match his long
and exemplary record of public service. All those who know him are
familiar with his vast knowledge, prodigious memory and capacity
for sustained hard work," Manmohan Singh said here.
He was speaking after presenting the first K. Karunakaran
Foundation Best Administrator of India award to Mukherjee. The
award has been instituted in honour of late Congress veteran K.
"I believe that the successful management of the UPA is due
substantially to the inspiring leadership of the Chairperson of
the UPA Sonia Gandhi and to the very able trouble shooting skills
of Pranabji," the prime minister said.
"In running the government, Pranabji has been my most valued
colleague. We have consulted closely on all important decisions of
our government," he said.
"I wish to thank him personally for all that he has done to help
the government function effectively and cohesively," he said.
In a lighter vein, Manmohan Singh while praising Mukherjee said
that there are few people in our politics today who can match "his
long and exemplary record of public service."
"Less well known is that he is an avid reader with an abiding love
for history, the arts and culture, not to mention his weakness for
The prime minister was also all praise for Karunakaran, a former
Kerala chief Congress and veteran Congress leader, saying he
"exemplified the ideal traits that go into making a great
"He had the right mixture of political and administrative acumen,
love for his people and the vision of a great patriot and a great