Manmohan Singh takes additional charge of Finance Ministry
New Delhi, June 27 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has taken charge of the Finance Ministry after Pranab Mukherjee resigned to contest the presidential poll.
President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, who has accepted Mukherjee's resignation from the Union Council of Ministers, as advised by the government has directed that the Prime Minister will look after the work of the Ministry of Finance.
The Prime Minister had on Tuesday expressed his government's gratitude to Pranab Mukherjee for his invaluable contribution to its work over the last eight years, and expressed hope of seeing him become India's next President.
"Our government owes a deep debt of gratitude to you for your invaluable contribution to its work over the last eight years. It is a testimony to your extraordinary abilities and your stature in public life that you have carried on onerous range of responsibilities with ease and accomplishment. Our colleagues in the Cabinet and I have benefitted from your wise counsel on innumerable occasions and we will all deeply miss your presence amidst us," said Dr. Singh in his letter to Mukherjee in response to his resignation tendered today.
"We hope to see you occupy the exalted position of President next month and are confident that our country and people will continue to benefit from your wisdom, knowledge and decades of experience in public life. I wish you success in the election to the highest office in the country. I also wish you sustained good health and happiness in the years to come," he added.
Pranab Mukherjee, who resigned yesterday as the Finance Minister, turned emotional saying he stands ready to embark on a new journey.
"Today, I stand ready to embark on a new journey. I feel honoured and humbled on my nomination as a candidate to contest the presidential election by UPA-II, supported by the Samajwadi Party, BSP, JD (U), Shiv Sena, CPI (M), Forward Bloc and some other parties for which election is scheduled to be held on 19th of July. Yet standing on the brink of such an honour, I also feel a tinch of sentiment at the thought of leaving behind my life as a political activist spanning over four decades," Mukherjee told the media outside the North Block here.
"I will miss my colleagues in the Ministry of Finance and I will also miss not being stopped by all of you, who are assembled here while getting into my car or coming out of my car in front of my office in North Block. Friends, I have covered a distance in my life, but I always remind myself that I was born in a remote village in Bengal. I saw the lives of poor farmers and simple folks in rural India," he added.
Mukherjee further said every decision taken by him might not have been right, but it was taken in the best public interest.
The resignation of Mukherjee, who is all set to emerge victorious in the race to Raisina Hill, brought an end to his distinguished 43-year-long political career.
The Congress Working Committee (CWC) bid its farewell to Mukherjee earlier on Monday. He will file his nomination papers for the presidentship on Thursday.
Mukherjee became a member of the CWC in 1978.he 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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