The Government of India has finalised a post-retirement home for President Pranab Mukherjee on Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road indicating that the President might not be seeking a second term, reported The Indian Express.
The report added that Bungalow No 34, which previously housed former Lok Sabha Speaker the late Purno Sangma and which is occupied by the Sangma family, will be turned into the President's home once his tenure ends in July 2017.
A official of the Ministry of Urban Development told The Indian Express that the Sangma family has been asked for vacate the bungalow as they are not entitled Type VIII property and said that the house might be revamped for Mukherjee, though there has been no request yet.
In her column in The Financial Express, Coomi Kapoor wrote that Mukherjee has confided to his close aides that he is not keen on seeking another term and felt that the BJP might not re-nominate him. "Mukherjee, 80, who completes his term next July, is already sorting out his papers and gifts presented to him during his presidentship, but the NDA government is still to decide on his replacement," she wrote.
Firstpost's Gouri Chatterjee argued that while there is wide speculation on whether Mukherjee will get a second-term or not, it is also a fact that he has built a "close rapport" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She wrote: "But then, if anyone can come in as Sonia Gandhi’s man and carry on as Narendra Modi’s man it will be Pranab Mukherjee. He has talents few others do; he has memories that are still sharp in his mind."
The President’s Pension Rules 1962 states: "A retired President shall be entitled without payment of rent to the use of a furnished residence anywhere in India at the choice of the retired president, without payment of water and electricity charges for the remainder of his life."
It further states that "At places where government-owned accommodation is allotted to a retired president, the size of the residence shall be comparable to a residence allotted to a minister in the Union Council of Ministers."