Former President Pranab Mukherjee passes away

Chennai: Former President Pranab Mukherjee who was admitted at the Army Research and Referal Hospital passed away today.

The former President’s son Abhijit Mukherjee tweeted about his father’s demise.

Sources said that Mukherjee’s condition declined this morning and he had suffered a septic shock due to lung infection.

Mukherjee was admitted to the hospital on 10 August, where he was operated upon for the removal of a clot in his brain. Thereafter, he developed lung infection and was treated for the same. He had also tested positive for Covid 19.

Pranab Mukherjee’s political journey started in West Bengal in 1969 by-election in Midnapore when he was the election agent for V K Krishna Menon, who ran as an independent candidate. He caught the eye of Siddhartha Shankar Ray who recommended him to Indira Gandhi, who gave him a Rajya Sabha seat. Thus at the age of 35, Mukherjee entered the Rajya Sabha.

Besides serving two terms as Finance Minister, Mukherjee also held the post of  Commerce Minister in 1993 and is known for championing the cause of trade liberalisation. He served as the 13th President of India from 2012 until 2017.

Conveying his condolence, President Ram Nath Kovind said Pranab’s demise is passing of an era.

He tweeted, ” A colossus in public life, he served Mother India with the spirit of a sage. The nation mourns losing one of its worthiest sons. Condolences to his family, friends & all citizens.” He also said that Pranab Mukherjee combined tradition and modernity.

“In his 5 decade long illustrious public life, he remained rooted to the ground irrespective of the exalted offices he held. He endeared himself to people across political spectrum,” he added.

Ram Nath Kovind also praised Pranab Mukherjee for bringing Rashtrapathi Bhavan closer to people.

“He opened its gates for public visit. His decision to discontinue the use of the honorific ‘His Excellency’ was historic,” he said.