NEW DELHI: After passing two Acts last week days before his term as President ends on July 24, Pranab Mukherjee is busying himself with hosting farewell dinners in Rashtrapati Bhavan. In a first ever gesture of gratitude by a President, Mukherjee has invited his staff of the Presidential Estate for high tea on July 18.
The farewell marathon began on July 3, with journalists being the first ones to be invited to dinner by the 13th President of India. On July 7, it was the turn of academicians, including vice-chancellors of universities, to dine with the outgoing President.
“On July 12, a dinner has been organised for 35 governors and lieutenant governors,” a senior government official said. “Due to the time shortage, dinners have been organised back to back. Only Cabinet ministers will be invited after announcement of the next President. Ministers and party leaders will be hosted on July 22 or 23.”
July 13 will be a dinner for defence chiefs and military officials; the President is the supreme commander of the armed forces.
The Presidential election will be held on July 17. Counting of votes will be on July 20, five days before the incumbent President’s term expires.