New Delhi: Within minutes of the announcement of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee being the ruling UPA's presidential candidate, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah congratulated him through a tweet."Congratulations to Pranab Da. I have no doubt he will make an excellent president & I'm pleased to have been able to commit NC's support," Abdullah said in a message on his Twitter page on Friday.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi made the formal announcement after a meeting of her party and its allies, saying Mukherjee had to his credit a "long and distinguished record of public service for five decades".She said he enjoyed broad support for holding the country's top post.

The UPA also appealed to all political parties, MPs and members of state assemblies to extend support for Mukherjee's candidature.The presidential elections will take place July 19.


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