New Delhi: JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, whose party had supported the candidature of Pranab Mukherjee, on Wednesday skipped the swearing-in ceremony of the new President, saying his presence there would "not have made a difference".
Asked about his absence from the oath-taking ceremony in Parliament House, Yadav said, "I have never attended any oath-taking ceremony. I think my presence there does not make any difference. I don't go to these ceremonies as I have more important work to do. There is no dearth of people who go there and my presence does not make any difference."
Yadav had also not attended the dinner hosted by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to thank political leaders who had supported the nomination of Mukherjee.
He was also not present when Mukherjee filed his nomination for Presidential election on June 28.
Yadav said that though he has never attended these "ceremonial functions", he has never missed the joint address by the President to both Houses of Parliament.
"I have never missed the joint address of the President to Parliament and have been attended Parliament sessions from day one. I am duty-bound to attend them as discussions on several national issues are raised and I have to be there as people's representative," he said.
After his victory in the Presidential race, Mukherjee had called up Yadav to thank him for his party's support.
Maintaining that his priority was towards people who come to meet him from far-away places, Yadav said, "My first duty is to attend to the people who come from far away places to meet me. Most of them come by trains with plans to return the same day and I am duty bound to meet them."