On the last day of his 43 years in active politics on Tuesday, outgoing finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, 77, turned emotional as he admitted that he may have made some mistakes as a policy maker.
In the backdrop of sharp criticism from some quarters over his performance as finance minister, Mukherjee said, “Not every decision I have taken might have been right. But I took them keeping in view the interest of the people whose faces appeared before me more than often.”
The man expected to become the next president, however, received praise from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who took charge of the finance portfolio. After accepting Mukherjee’s resignation from his cabinet, Singh said in a letter to him: “I have benefited from your wise counsel on innumerable occasions and we will all deeply miss your presence amidst us.”
But Mukherjee didn’t have the pleasure of leaving his office on a note of satisfaction. Glued to the TV watching the movement of the Sensex, he told HT: “I was expecting it to go further up.”
He also posed for about a dozen special photo-ops with North Block staffers, including peons and security guards.