Tomorrow, Pranab Mukherjee will officially step into Delhi’s Rashtrapati Bhavan as the 13th Indian President after beating contender PA Sangma by a landslide margin.
The Union Finance Minister’s win was predicted even before the votes were cast on Saturday. So, what’s special about the 13th President? Mukherjee had hinted during one of his campaigns in Agartala: “The President’s post is virtually that of the constitutional head of the country. And it plays a vital role during complicated political situations.”
Truly, his job could be just as tricky as it is ceremonial. Mukherjee’s elevation is considered extremely crucial with respect to the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, when he will have spent roughly two years as the head of the country.
Bollywood has reacted rather happily to the decision. Actor-producer Aamir Khan, who on a couple of occasions recently, had a chance to interact with Mukherjee, says he found him to be humble and warm.
“Pranabda is a senior leader of our country. He commands a high degree of regard and respect for leading a prolific and inspiring political life,” says Aamir, adding, “His knowledge of the socio-political aspects of the country is exemplary. I’ve met him briefly a couple of times and have always found him approachable.”
"Let’s see how his super sharp political mind takes India forward. He will surely be a very dynamic President!"
Mithun Chakraborthy, Actor
"I was by Pranabda’s side when he was campaigning in Birbhum. The locals worshipped him. Yesterday, when I called him to convey my regards, he responded, saying, ‘Thank you.’ I said, ‘I’m a proud Bengali today.’ He’d recommended me for the Padma Shri. I didn’t get it, but at least he believed I was deserving of the honour."
Shaina NC, Designer and politician
"He will not be involved with the day-to-day working of the government at the Centre. But I hope he does his bit as the President, and comes across as fair and just in whatever decisions he makes, considering he has a four-decade-long political career and massive experience."
Smriti Irani, TV actor and politician
"I have only interacted with him twice with regard to the Budget he presented in the Parliament. It will be discourteous to comment on his tenure as a Union Minister now that he has won the Presidential elections. I wish he upholds the Constitution as he has affirmed in his interviews post his victory."
Shekhar Kapur, Director, on Twitter
"Lets wish Pranabda all d best n hope he can restore the post to its former respect, dignity n glory (sic)."