Pranab Mukherjee Clears The Air, No To Second Term
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee has finally made it clear that he will not throw his hat for the second term, putting at rest the speculation that he would be one of the probable contenders.
“I have exactly two months to go. July 25, a new President will assume office. I am sending the officials who have worked with me back to their ministries and departments. One has gone to the Commerce Ministry, two to the Ministry of External Affairs,” he said.
The President was speaking at a farewell tea organised for the media by President’s Secretary Omita Paul for his Press Secretary Venu Rajamony, a career diplomat who has been appointed the Ambassador to The Netherlands. Rajamony will assume his new office in The Hague early next month.
Mukherjee has earlier indicated that he would consider a second term if the BJP-led government supports him. But BJP had stated that it has no plans to do so and would filed its own candidate for the highest post.
Mukherjee’s remarks assume significance in the context of the ongoing hectic political activities centred on a candidate for the President’s election slated in July.
The Congress-led Opposition has declared that it would support Mukherjee in the event of government backs him. Understanding that Narendra Modi does not wish to have a Congress man for his possible second term, Congress along with TMC, JD U, SP, RJD and the Left, have been searching for a suitable man to field opposite to the official candidate. Gopala Krishna Gandhi is said to be the front runner for the post.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi is hosting a dinner for Opposition leaders on Friday as part of the efforts to arrive at a consensus over the Opposition candidate.
Mukherjee said after a hectic political life he had been wondering whether he would fit into the President’s post where the incumbent has to work under Constitutional rules.
So, an eventful career is coming to end in July. Mr Mukharjee finally bids adieu. His successor will be decided by the Modi-Amit Shah duo, by June 15, it is learnt.