New Delhi: The UPA's Presidential nominee, Pranab Mukherjee, is likely to resign as the Union Finance Minister on Sunday. "I will resign on June 24," Mukherjee said on Saturday while speaking in Kolkata.
He is expected to file his nomination papers for the Presidential election on June 28. Four sets of nomination papers, each having 50 proposers and seconders, are being readied for the nomination, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had said recently. Besides Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, several Union ministers as also leaders of constituent parties of UPA are expected to be the proposers and seconders of Mukherjee's candidature for the July 19 election.
Mukherjee, who is in West Bengal at the moment, will be visiting Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission before heading for New Delhi. The Congress Working Committee has arranged a meeting on Monday in New Delhi to bid farewell to Mukherjee. Discussions on the Presidential elections are also likely to be held at the meeting.
Mukherjee on Saturday turned nostalgic on his visit to his ancestral house in Miriti in Birbhum district and said a chapter in his four-decade-old political career has ended after his nomination as UPA's Presidential candidate.
"I was directly involved in politics for a long period. My 40-year political career is at an end," said the 77-year-old Congress leader who was made Finance Minister after UPA II came to power in May 2009 and held the portfolios of Defence and External Affairs in UPA I.
"I am overwhelmed by the reception I have received here. I have been born here. I studied here. I am basically a village boy. Whenever I found time I would visit my village," Mukherjee said after taking the salute at a guard of honour by the police.
"Before beginning a new chapter in my life, I wanted to visit my village," Mukherjee, who worships Goddess Durga at his ancestral home each year, said as villagers showered petals and blew conch shells.
He took the blessings of the goddess at the temple in the courtyard of his house. He took the blessings from the bamboo and straw structure that will be fashioned into the goddess. Thousands of people lined up on both sides of the road leading to Miriti, while tribal women danced to the beat of drums and bands played to greet Mukherjee on his last visit to his village as union Finance Minister.
(With additional inputs from PTI)