We'll miss you: PM to Pranab

FM resigns ahead of filing president nomination

Capping close to a five-decade-old political career, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday resigned from the Cabinet to file his nomination for the July 19 Presidential election.

Set to embark on a new journey, the UPA Presidential candidate submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who in turn forwarded it to the President Pratibha Patil for her acceptance.

The prime minister also wished him success in the election to the highest office in the country.In his letter to Mukherjee, Singh said, “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”.

A nostalgic prime minister also wrote in letter that he and his Cabinet colleagues, who have immensely benefited from his “wise counsel” would deeply miss Mukherjee.In the past eight years of the UPA rule, Mukherjee served in different capacities as the minister of defence, external affairs and finance. But it was as the finance minister that he won most of the accolades. He was India’s first finance minister to be rated one of the best in the world by the prestigious “Euromoney” magazine in 1984.

Earlier, before leaving his North Block office, where he served in his current capacity for over three years, an emotional Mukherjee said, he felt the pinch of sentiments at the thought of leaving behind his life as a political activist.He also thanked the media for its support, saying he will miss those waiting every morning for him to get out of his car in front of the ministry.“You, members from the media, have always reminded me of my responsibility, most of the time through your criticism, and sometimes, through your appreciation. I do hope our relationship will continue,”said Pranab.

Mukherjee also acknowledged that he might have taken right decisions always during his career, but noted that the decisions he took were often centred around  poor people. The prime minister is expected to keep the finance portfolio until the next cabinet reshuffle, which is likely after the Monsoon session of Parliament.

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