New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Former President Pranab Mukherjee passed away on Monday following a continuous decline in his health after a lung infection resulted in septic shock. Mukherjee underwent a brain surgery for the removal of a clot on August 10 at Delhi's R & R army Hospital. He was also diagnosed with covid infection on the same day. He was 84. In his political career spanning over five decades, held charge of top ministries including finance, defence and external affairs. A lifelong Congressman, Mukherjee enjoyed great goodwill among his political adversaries. He is often referred to as the prime minister India never had.

A man of humble origins, Mukherjee was born in the small village of Mirati in Birbhum District of West Bengal on December 11, 1935 to freedom fighters, Shri Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee and Rajlakshmi. Mukherjee acquired a Master's degree in History and Political Science as well as a degree in Law from the University of Calcutta. In 1963, he joined Kolkata's Vidyanagar College as a Lecturer and subsequently worked as a journalist with the Desher Dak (Call of Motherland) before taking the plunge into politics

 

He was elected to the Upper House of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha) five times from 1969 and twice to the Lower House of the Parliament (Lok Sabha) from 2004. He was a member of the Congress Working Committee, the highest policy-making body of the Party for a period of 23 years. He assumed office as Finance Minister of India for the first time in 1982 in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and was Leader of the House in the Upper House of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) from 1980 to 1985.

 

In the seventies and eighties, he was instrumental in setting up the Regional Rural Banks (1975) and the EXIM Bank of India as well as National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (1981-82). Shri Mukherjee had extensive diplomatic experience and has served on the Board of Governors of the IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank.

During the period 2004-2012, Shri Mukherjee was instrumental in spearheading critical decisions of the Government on a range of issues such as Administrative reforms, Right to Information, Right to Employment, Food Security, Energy Security, Information Technology and telecommunication, setting up of UIDAI, Metro Rail etc.

Shri Pranab Mukherjee assumed office as the 13th President of India on July 25, 2012. During his tenure, he took several key decisions which include democratisation of presidency, promulgated 26 ordinances, acted upon pending mercy pleas of death row convicts, enhanced public access to Rashtrapti Bhavan and undertook several welfare activities. Despite political differences, Mukherjee managed to strike a rapport with PM Narendra Modi. Recognising his achievements in service of the nation, the government of India bestowed upon him Bharat Ratna award, the highest civilian honour on August 09.

Mr Mukherjee will be remembered for his exemplary service to the nation and his pursuit of excellence in public life.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta