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    Default Pranab steps down as finance minister

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    Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday resigned as the finance minister to contest the July 19 presidential election as the candidate of the ruling United Progressive Alliance.

    "Today, I stand ready to embark on a new journey...I am leaving behind my life as a political activist spanning over four decades," Mukherjee told reporters outside his North Block office before submitting his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

    Mukherjee said besides the United Progressive Alliance partners, he enjoyed support of several regional parties including the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Janta Dal (United). "I feel humbled by the support," he said.

    "I know that not every decision which I have taken might have been right but I have taken those decisions keeping in view the interests of the people," he added.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to keep the finance portfolio with himself.



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