Kolkata: Terming president-elect Pranab Mukherjee as one of the best parliamentarians and statesmen of India, former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee Sunday said the country has got the most able man for the top job.
"I am very happy for Pranabbabu. He has been a great parliamentarian and statesman. I have known him for years as a fellow parliamentarian. India has got the most able person for the post of president," said Chatterjee.
Pranab Mukherjee will be India`s 13th president, officials announced Sunday, as the former finance minister comfortably crossed the halfway mark with 558,000 votes to secure his journey to Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"I must say Pranabbabu becoming the next president is an extra gift for all the Bengalis. I had called him a few minutes back and have congratulated him for his victory. I wish him all the very best for his new job," said Chatterjee.
The former Marxist leader had himself been a contender for the presidential post, after Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav announced his name as one of their three preferred nominees.
But later on the scenario changed, and Mulayam Singh backed Mukherjee after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) formally declared him its candidate. Banerjee also made a u-turn, days before the July 19 poll and announced support for Mukherjee.