Ankleshwar: President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said he feels he is a "Gujarati at heart", though he may not speak the local language.
Mukherjee, who is on a two-day visit to the state, said he has been a Rajya Sabha member from the state in the past.
"I'm not new to Gujarat in the sense that I had the privilege ... they (political leaders) helped me to get elected from Gujarat to Rajya Sabha for full six years... in that way I can claim to be a Gujarati but unfortunately I cannot speak (the language)....
"I am not claiming it, but still at heart I'm a Gujarati," he quipped after inaugurating the Sardar Patel multi-specialty and heart hospital here in Bharuch district.
Earlier, he also visited the renovated 'Sevashram' hospital in Bharuch and unveiled statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The President lauded "the two great sons of India and Gujarat" for not only ensuring the country's independence but also placing strong foundation for its future.
He also praised the initiative of Congress MP Ahmed Patel for making the dream of the first super-specialty hospital in Bharuch come true as he called this work "noble".