CWC sources told CNN-IBN that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi paid compliments to Pranab and distributed sweets. Pranab thanked the CWC members and bid farewell. He will officially resign from the CWC soon and as the Finance Minister on June 26.
Mukherjee first entered Parliament as a Rajya Sabha member from West Bengal in July 1969 and since then has been a key member of the Congress party. He has handled important portfolios like Finance, Defence and External Affairs besides being the chief troubleshooter of the Congress party for almost two decades.
Mukherjee is the overwhelming favourites to become the 13th person to become the President of the country as he has got the support of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Janata Dal (United), Shiv Sena, Communist Party of India-Marxist, Forward Bloc and several smaller political outfits.
However, key UPA constituent, the Trinamool Congress is opposed to Mukherjee's candidature and it to decide on its future course of action after former president APJ Abdul Kalam, whom the party was supporting, declined to contest.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance is deeply divided on the Presidential election with only the BJP and the Shromani Akali Dal in favour of a contest. The two parties have backed the candidature of former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma even though two of NDA's key partners - the JD(U) and the Shiv Sena - are supporting Mukherjee.
Sangma has also got the support of Odhisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.