Sonia thanks non-UPA parties for support to Pranab (Second Lead)June 25th, 2012 - 5:05 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi Monday expressed happiness that Pranab Mukherjee emerged not only the unanimous choice of the United Progressive Alliance as presidential candidate but also got support from other political parties outside the ruling alliance.
Speaking at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting here Monday, the Congress president hoped that Mukherjee would get elected the next president of the country with overwhelming majority.
The CWC meeting was held to bid farewell to the veteran leader in the run-up to the presidential election. Mukherjee will demit office as the finance minister Tuesday and file his nomination papers for the presidential race June 28, 2012.
With this meeting, the curtain formally came down on Mukherjee’s nearly five-decade-long association with the Congress.
Describing Mukherjee as the senior-most member of the CWC, Sonia Gandhi told the meeting she was happy that he was “not only the Congress candidate but also the unanimous choice of the UPA.”
Taking note of political parties outside the UPA supporting Mukherjee, Sonia Gandhi said it was a recognition of his stature and qualities, and expressed her gratitude for their support.
Sharing the sentiments of the Congress president, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that Mukherjee enjoyed great respect in the government and his absence would be felt.
“We will feel his absence,” the prime minister told the CWC.
Responding to the warm words of farewell, Mukherjee said, “I always treated myself as a Congressman and did all that I could have done.”
Mukherjee, besides being the chief troubleshooter of the UPA, has held several important party posts including that of treasurer, AICC general secretary and head of the party’s West Bengal unit.
Mukherjee told the meeting, “Whatever I did for the party, I got back in greater measure from it.” He also thanked Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Senior leaders A.K.Antony, Moti Lal Vohra, S.C.Jamir and R.K.Dhawan too spoke on the occasion.
The CWC - the party’s apex decision-making body - held a specially convened meeting to bid farewell to Mukherjee.
Of the 36 CWC members, including permanent invitees, six were absent on account of their other engagements with prior information to the party, AICC general secretary and head of the media department Janardan Dwivedi told media persons.
Prominent among those absent included Ghulam Nabi Azad and Digvijay Singh.
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