» Pranab Mukherjee is no more

প্রকাশিত: ০১. সেপ্টেম্বর. ২০২০ | মঙ্গলবার

Redtimes Desk

Former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee is no more . He had tested positive for COVID-19 this month, died on Monday after weeks in hospital. He was 84.

New Delhi’s Army Hospital (Research And Referral) said earlier in the day that Mukherjee had gone into a septic shock after coming down with a lung infection. His medical condition had declined since Sunday, it added.

A veteran politician who served as foreign and finance minister in previous administrations led by the now-opposition Congress party, Mukherjee had friends on both sides of the political divide.

He has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter, posting a picture of him touching Mukherjee’s feet in reverence.

A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society.

Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed condolences over the passing of Mukherjee, remembering him as a “true friend of Bangladesh”.

In his six-decade political career, Mukherjee held various positions for the governments led by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh.

Fondly called ‘Pranab Da’ by his peers and friends, Mukherjee was born on December 11, 1935, in Birbhum district, West Bengal. He completed a master’s degree in Political Science and History and an LLB degree from the University of Calcutta.

Mukherjee first became the general secretary of the Congress in 1998. He was a member of the Congress Working Committee for 23 years. It is a mixed bag legacy for the politician who won his first election in 2004 from Jangipur in West Bengal.

Mukherjee became India’s youngest finance minister in 1982 at the age of 47. From 2004, he went on to head three crucial ministries — external affairs, defence and finance — and became the first occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan to have this distinction. He served as India’s 13th president, the first Bengali to hold the post, from 2012-2017. A tough taskmaster, avid reader and history aficionado, Mukherjee has ensured that he leaves his mark on the presidency. He has made it easier for common people to visit the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee addressing the closing ceremony of the International Bengali Literary Conference on Monday at the Bangla Academy in Dhaka .In 2004, when the Congress-led coalition came to power, he was seen as a contender for prime minister. But his boss, Sonia Gandhi, chose Dr Manmohan Singh instead, and even his close supporters began to believe that their leader would be the eternal bridesmaid.

Mukherjee was honoured with Bharat Ratna Award in 2019.

Political leaders of all stripes offered their condolences to the bereaved family.

It is with deep sorrow I write this. Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee has left us. An era has ended. For decades he was a father figure. From my first win as MP, to being my senior Cabinet colleague, to his becoming President while I was CM,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.

The former president was admitted to the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi on Aug 10 and had surgery the same day for the removal of a clot in the brain.

The hospital had reported a decline in his condition on Monday morning. He was in septic shock due to his lung infection, the hospital authority said.

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October 2020