UPA Prez nominee Pranab to step down as FM tomorrow
New Delhi, June 25 (ANI): UPA presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee today said he would be quitting as Finance Minister of the country on Tuesday.
"Now, of course, I am giving a farewell call. Today, my long association with the Congress Working Committee, almost for 32 years from 1978 till today. So, they bid me lots of farewell. I met Prime Minister, tomorrow I will be putting in my papers," Mukherjee told media here after a special meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) here, which was called to felicitate him and bid farewell to him.
Congress General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi briefing the media about the CWC meeting said both party president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh lauded the role played by Mukherjee, both in the party and in the government.
"Congress President Sonia Gandhi said that Pranab Mukherjee is a very senior member of the Congress Working Committee. It is a matter of great delight that not only the Congress, but the whole UPA has selected him as their candidate with full consensus," said Dwivedi.
"The Congress President also thanked those outside the UPA, who have lent their support to Pranab Mukherjee. She expressed hope that he will win with a huge margin and increase the pride of the country as a president," he added.
Dwivedi said the Prime Minister also echoed similar sentiments as the Congress President, and said that the party will miss Mukherjee for he had very big responsibilities in the government.
"He expressed satisfaction and pleasure over all backing his candidature," he added.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi were among those present at Sonia's residence along with the CWC members and permanent invitees to acknowledge the contributions of Mukherjee, considered to be the party's chief troubleshooter.
Mukherjee, who is all set to emerge victorious in the race for Raisina Hill, became a member of the CWC in 1978.
Mukherjee, however, is expected to announce some major economic decisions, before demitting his office to file his nominations for the presidential poll.
Mukherjee is a senior member of the Cabinet Committees on Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Parliamentary Affairs, Political Affairs, Prices, Security, Unique Identification Authority of India, World Trade Organization, and heads the Group of Ministers Committee on the Dabhol dispute.
Mukherjee had earlier said that those political parties, which had not taken any decision to support his candidature, should do so.
The remark was made in an indirect reference to West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee, who has still not backed his candidature for the top post.
The presidential elections will be held on July 19. The vote count will take place on July 22.
Pratibha Devisingh Patil's term as President ends on July 24.(ANI)
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