It was around 1969-70. The young Mukherjee, then a first time Rajya Sabha MP, was allotted a flat on South Avenue close to Rashtrapati Bhavan, the 340-room British-era presidential mansion.
The red boundary wall of Rashtrapati Bhavan and the stable where the horses were kept and attended to were visible from the flat's balcony.
Once during an idle chat there, Mukherjee told his elder sister Annapurna Banerjee: "See how much these horses are pampered. How well fed they look. I want to be reborn as a horse in the president's cavalry".
Annapurna's son and Mukherjee's nephew Tarun Banerjee, who recounted the incident to agencies, said: "My mother replied 'Why do you wish to be reborn as a horse? Mark my words, you will become president of India one day and that too in this life'".
"We are very happy for two reasons. One my maternal uncle is set to become president and second, my mother's forecast has come true," added Banerjee.
Mukherjee was on Friday named the United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) candidate for president and was set to win with majority support.
Kolkata: Pranab Mukherjee, who seems set to become the 13th president of India, once wished to be reborn even as a horse in the president's elite cavalry regiment, but was told he would become president in his own life time, his nephew revealed.
First Published: Saturday, June 16, 2012, 17:06