PMO staff give Manmohan Singh standing ovation

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was given a standing ovation by his staff at South Block during a farewell they hosted for him Tuesday, a day after the general elections ended. It also saw some moist eyes.

Around 110 staff of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) gathered at South Block to give a farewell to Manmohan Singh, who steps down May 17 after a decade at the helm of the country.

“The staff gave the prime minister a standing ovation,” a PMO official told IANS, adding that the staff presented him with a bouquet.

Manmohan Singh told the PMO staff: “I am very thankful to you all for your service to the nation. May god bless you.”

Some of the staff who have interacted with the prime minister during the 10 years of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule were seen wiping away their tears, the official added.

Present along with Manmohan Singh were National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, Principal Secretary Pulok Chatterjee, Prime Minister’s Advisor T.K.A. Nair and his Media Advisor Pankaj Pachauri.

The farewell was hosted in the spacious corridor of the PMO.

It was held Tuesday as May 14 is a holiday on account of Buddha Purnima, said a source.

The prime minister will hold his last cabinet meeting May 17 morning, before handing over to the president the resignation of his government to allow formation of a new regime.

Some TV cameras and news photographers were present on the  occasion.

The 10-phase Lok Sabha elections, which were held in 28 states and seven union territories, began April 7 and ended Monday. The millions of votes will be counted Friday.

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