The five-year President term of Pranab Mukherjee ends on July 25 and the outgoing president will be given a farewell by Members of Parliament two days prior to his term ending that is July 23. The farewell will take place in the Central Hall of Parliament. As per the Indian Express report, according to the tradition, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will deliver a farewell speech for the President. He will also be presented with a memento and a signature book signed by all MPs. President Mukherjee then is expected to attend high tea after the farewell in the courtyard. In her farewell speech, former President Pratibha Patil, when she spoke about her successor five years ago said,“He is well-known to the people of India, as also to Members of Parliament, for his work as a statesman and for his many achievements in over four decades of public life. A veteran Parliamentarian, he has a formidable reputation based on his insightful mind and sharp memory. He has vast experience of the functioning of Government as well. He brings to the office of the President sagacity, experience and a deep understanding of national and international issues.”
Mukherjee during his tenure has made many changes to Rashtrapati Bhavan. A hi-tech story-telling museum, books on Rashtrapati Bhavan, including one on birds photographed by his additional secretary, paintings and in-residence programmes that allowed celebrities and commoners alike to get a taste of the Rashtrapati Bhavan are some of the inititiatives that he took.
Afte the retirement Mukherjee will be shifted to the residence of Former President A P J Abdul Kalam at Rajaji Marg. Mukherjee according to reports has expressed the desire to finish the third installment of his autobiography and then take up teaching. Recently, Mukherjee during an interaction with guests at Rashtrapati Bhavan banquet said that the more controversial developments of which he had been a part have not even been recorded in those journals.
The Signature Book, one of the parting gifts for the President’s, will be kept in the Central Hall from July 17. Between 10 am and 6 pm, official working hours of Parliament, MPs can come and sign the book. Ram Nath Kovind and Meira Kumar are the chosen candidates by NDA and the Opposition respectively to contest the Presidential election.