Out of active politics, Pranab relaxes at home

A day after bidding goodbye to more than four decades of active politics and stepping down as finance minister to contest the presidential election, Pranab Mukherjee relaxed at home Wednesday 'laughing loudly' and talking with the people around him about his multi-faceted journey.

'He was quite relaxed and sometimes was laughing very loudly,' said an official at Mukherjee's 13 Talkatora Road residence.

The official, who did not want to be named, said the 77-year old Mukherjee started the day with a morning walk at 6 am followed by puja.

'He was reading books and talking about history and politics. But it seemed, he was missing something - which is active politics and work of ministries and whole lot of other things,' the official said.

Many senior political leaders, including Janata Dal-United president Sharad Yadav and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav visited Mukherjee at his residence.

Mukherjee, who started his political career as a Congress member of the Rajya Sabha in 1969, is all set to move to Rashtrapati Bhavan as his election to the country's highest post is almost certain.

Besides the partners of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Mukherjee enjoys support of many regional parties, including the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Janata Dal-United and the Shiv Sena, as also the CPI-M and the Forward Bloc.

Mukherjee is scheduled to file his nomination papers for the presidential election on Thursday afternoon.

After leaving the North Block Tuesday on the last day of his active politics, Mukherjee had said: 'On Wednesday, I stand ready to embark on a new journey. I feel honoured and humbled on my nomination as a candidate to contest the presidential election.'

In an emotional farewell address, Mukherjee said: 'I will miss my colleagues in the ministry of finance. And I will also miss being stopped while getting into my car and getting out of my car in front of the ministry of finance by [the media].'

Mukherjee will begin his campaign for presidential election on 30 June from Tamil Nadu.
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