Capacity to build consensus is the hallmark of true leader in a democracy – President Yashwantrao Chavan National Award 2012 presented to E Sreedharan

Capacity to build consensus is the hallmark of true leader in a democracy – President Yashwantrao Chavan National Award 2012 presented to E Sreedharan
President Pranab Mukherjee today said the capacity to build consensus is the hallmark of a true leader  in a democracy.  Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Centenary Celebration of Maharashtra’s first Chief Minister Yashwantrao Chavan in Mumbai, Shri Mukehrjee said, “in the earlier days it was bravery and muscle power which determined the leaders.  But in a democracy it is the capacity to build consensus and carry people along that determines the true leader.”  The President paid glowing  tributes to late Chavan, calling him the architect of modern Maharasthra.  He said, he had the privilege of working in close cooperation with Y B Chavan and his style of functioning epitomized pragmatism.
Shri Mukhjerjhee recalled various instances of his interaction with Y B Chavan  and said he was the only person to hold all the four important portfolios of Home, Defence, Finance and External Affairs at the Centre.  President called late Chavan a veteran trouble shooter, whose services were often sought when the government was in some sort of trouble.
Recalling Yashwantrao Chavan’s role as the first Chief Minister of Maharashtrea, Shri Mukerhee said “His was not an easy task when the State of Maharashtra was formed in 1960 with Mumbai as its capital.  Mumbai had already become a financial capital of the country and a true cosmopolitan city. He had to convince the industry that the investment climate will remain conducive, even after formation of a linguistic state, and he succeeded.”
Remembering the role of Yashwantrao Chavan as the Defence Minister in the aftermath of Indo-China war, Shri Mukjherjee said “Y B Chavan with his single minded commitment raised the morale of Indian Armed Forces which resulted in decisive victories in 1965 and 1971 wars.”
Shri Mukherjee during his address also revealed some little known facts about Y B Chavan and informed that he was the first recognized Leader of the Opposition in the country. “This happened accidentally, because before 1977, no political party had ever won more than 10 per cent seats to be declared as a recognized opposition party.
E Sreedharan honoured with Yashwantrao Chavan National Award
President Pranab Mukherjee presented the Yashwantrao Chavan National Award 2012 to veteran railway engineer E. Sreedharan for his contribution to the construction of Konkan Railway and transforming urban transport in the national capital through Delhi Metro.  Sreedharan in his acceptance speech said “ such large projects of national importance can never be credited to a single person.  I accept this honour on behalf of my team of engineers and architects who made the dreams come true.”  Later, he donated the award money of Rs. 5 lakh to a charity run in his mother’s name which carries out rural developmental  work in Kerala.
On this occasion, Shri Mukherjee also released a commemorative special cover brought out by the India Post.  A specially conceived audio book titled ‘Krishna Kaath’ about the life and times of Yashwantrao Chavan was also released.
Maharashtra Governor, K, Sankarnarayanan, Chief Minsiter Prithviraj Chavan, Union Ministers Sharad Pawar, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Praful Patel, Maharashtra Dy. Chief Minister Ajit Pawar were prominent among those present.