Kolkata: They exulted in joy and distributed sweets when Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee`s candidature for the country`s presidency was announced on Friday. Now they are eagerly waiting to be neighbours of India`s first citizen.
There is much anticipation and buzz around "Vatayan", Mukherjee`s residence in south Kolkata`s upscale Dhakuria, where his neighbours are eagerly waiting for the day when he would be declared the president of India - the first Bengali to be so elected.
"We are the proud neighbours of the country`s finance minister and can`t wait for the day when we will become the neighbours of the first Bengali president of the country. We are arranging for a grand celebration on that day," Surajit Basu, who lives next door to "Vatayan", said.
Tarapada makes a living by running a tea stall in the nook. The youth is ecstatic at the news and hopes to get the honour of serving a steaming hot cup of tea to the president.
"I saw his name being announced (as a candidate) for the president`s post on TV. The news made me so happy that I did not charge any money from the customers present at my shop that time. I sincerely hope and wish that I get an opportunity to serve a cup of tea to him," said a joyful Tarapada.
Suparna Mukherjee who lives nearby and is a teacher, distributed sweets on Friday when his name was announced and hopes to do the same when Mukherjee eventually becomes the president.
"For us Durga Puja (the biggest festival in this part of the country) has arrived early. We are equally happy and anxious and waiting for the day when the first Bengali president of the country arrives in our neighbourhood. That would really be a proud moment for us. I can already imagine that day," she said.
With Mulayam Singh Yadav`s Samajwadi Party and Mayawati`s Bahujan Samaj Party extending their support to Mukherjee`s candidature and former president A P J Abdul Kalam yet to affirm his candidature, Mukherjee is appeared most likely to become the 13th president of the country.