Pranab Mukherjee: A Fine Statesman In India’s Rich History
The former President commanded respect across party lines.
Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee passed away today after battling multiple illnesses that had led to his hospitalisation early this month. The ace politician is among the very few who commanded respect across party lines before he took over as the President of India. After handling important portfolios like Finance and External Affairs during his political tenure, one would have thought he was primed to become Prime Minister of India in 2004 but Dr Manmohan Singh was chosen over him. Pranab da, as he was fondly known, worked with three generations of the Gandhi family before retiring from the Congress party in 2012 when he was elected as the President of India.
Last year, when Dr Mukherjee was conferred with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, he had said, “My heartfelt gratitude to Rashtrapatiji and the people of our nation for bestowing the Bharat Ratna on me. This honour is more for the people of our country from whom I have received much more than I have been able to give.” He had received the honour along with Assamese singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika and the late social activist Nanaji Deshmukh.
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