World media hails ‘astute’ President Pranab
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Last Updated: Monday, July 23, 2012, 12:00
Zeenews Bureau

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.

First Published: Monday, July 23, 2012, 12:00

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