Pranab will be missed: PM; CWC bids farewell to party veteran

Pranab Mukherjee, Chidambaram and Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, Jun 25: The Congress today bid a warm farewell to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, poised to become the country's President, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that the veteran leader will be missed.

At a special meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), party chief Sonia Gandhi personally bid farewell to the chief troubleshooter of the party and the UPA and expressed confidence that he would win the Jul 19 Presidential election with a huge margin.

Mukherjee will file nomination for the Presidential poll on Jun 28, AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters after the CWC meeting. He is expected to resign from the government and the party tomorrow.

Gandhi hailed Mukherjee as the senior most member of the CWC and said it was a matter of great pleasure that the UPA has made him a Presidential candidate.

Singh said Mukherjee's absence will be felt as he discharged many duties in the government. The informal CWC meeting called to felicitate Mukherjee was attended by 20 of the 26 members, including Permanent Invitees.

Among those who spoke on the occasion were Defence Minister AK Antony and senior party leaders Motilal Vora, SC Jamir, RK Dhawan, Mohsina Kidwai.

A visibly emotional Mukherjee, who had held a number of posts in the party and the government, said he has got much more from the party than what he had given. He said he always considered himself as a true Congressman and did whatever is good for the party.


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