Washington/New Delhi: A day after Pranab Mukherjee was declared President-elect of India, the world media has hailed him as a politician.
‘The Wall Street Journal’ described 76-year-old Mukherjee as an astute politician and the Congress party`s chief political fixer, saying he has spent years holding the party`s fragile coalition together.
The BBC`s Jill McGivering described Mukherjee as a grand old man of the Congress party, highlighting his strength of forging difficult alliances.
McGivering said since the 2014 General Elections are not likely to produce a decisive verdict, the President’s role could become crucial in that scenario.
The BBC also hailed Mukherjee`s victory as a big boost to the Congress, which has been under pressure over a series of corruption scandals and a slowdown in the Indian economy.
The ‘Bangkok Post’ said Mukherjee, who entered Parliament in 1969, will cap his long career in the turbulent world of Indian politics with a stint in the largely ceremonial role of President.
The paper described him as a workaholic, a trouble-shooter and a shrewd tactician, who has been a leading figure within the ruling Congress party since the early 1980s when the country was governed according to socialist ideals.
‘The Australian’ said, quoting analysts, that Mukherjee may take a more active approach to the job than his predecessors as India struggles with a Parliamentary deadlock and slowing economic growth.
The paper even predicted that Mukherjee could try to use the Presidential position to foster a behind-the-scenes deal between warring parties who have reduced Parliament to a stalemate in recent sessions.
The paper however noted that Mukherjee’s performance as finance minister was criticised for his failure to push through reforms to further liberalise India`s economy.