Mirati: A festive spirit prevailed in Pranab Mukherjee's ancestral village on Sunday, with many praising the local boy set to become India's next president. Mirati in West Bengal's Birbhum district came alive since early in the day.

People gathered near Mukherjee's house watching news of the vote count on TV channels.Some beat drums, carried big cut-outs of Mukherjee and danced in joy.

Local poets sang their compositions hailing Mukherjee. Some people offered special prayers. There was jubilation when news came that Mukherjee had won an overwhelming majority of the votes from Andhra Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh.

Immediately, the villagers smeared each other with green 'gulal' and shouted "Praanb Mukherjee zindabad!""We want to him to come to the village and seek blessings from goddess Durga, the family's guardian deity,' said a villager who addressed the to be president as Kakababu (uncle).

"I have seen him from his childhood. He has been like a father figure for me," he said.A family member recalled how Mukherjee, who comes to the village every year during Durga Puja to don the priest's robe, always ensured that all guests were offered 'prasad'.

"Be it the people of his constituency Jangipur or from Kolkata, he always plays the perfect host.""I prayed for his long life and good health," added a priest.


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