Former President Pranab Mukherjee passes away, had tested coronavirus positive
India's 13th President and Congress veteran Pranab Mukherjee passed away today, several days after he informed that he had contracted coronavirus. The 84-year-old was undergoing treatment at Army's R&R Hospital in Delhi and his condition started deteriorating after he had to undergo brain surgery. He was put on the ventilator support but his condition didn't improve much. Here are more details.
Mukherjee, lovingly called Pranab Da, learned of his COVID-19 infection when he was in the hospital for some other ailment. Later, he underwent surgery to get a blood clot removed from his brain. Since he had contracted the highly-contagious disease, he had to be put on a ventilator. The hospital said earlier today that he was in a "septic shock."
With a Heavy Heart , this is to inform you that my father Shri #PranabMukherjee has just passed away inspite of the best efforts of Doctors of RR Hospital prayers ,duas prarthanas from people throughout India !— Abhijit Mukherjee (@ABHIJIT_LS) August 31, 2020
I thank all of You 🙏
Born in 1935 in Mirati, a village in Bengal Presidency in British India, to Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee, a freedom fighter, Banerjee was well-learned. He had a Master's degree in Political Science and History and an LLB degree from the University of Calcutta. His political career started in 1969 when he managed the campaign of VK Krishna Menon in Midnapore by-election. He was soon noticed by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Indira Gandhi made Mukherjee a Rajya Sabha member from Congress in July 1969. He was re-elected to the Upper House in 1975, 1981, 1993 and 1999. Seen as a "man of all seasons," Mukherjee was quite active during the Emergency era of 1975 to 1977. However, his critics accused the Indira loyalist of indulging in excesses during the time.
After Indira's assassination in 1984, Mukherjee broke ranks with Congress driven by the sour ties he shared with her son Rajiv Gandhi. It is said he believed he was the rightful heir and not an "inexperienced" Rajiv. He floated his own party Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress which eventually merged with Congress in 1989. Mukherjee's political career was revived in PM PV Narasimha Rao's reign.
Rao made him the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission in 1991 and Foreign Minister in 1995. He is also credited for hatching Sonia Gandhi's rise as AICC President. In 2004, when UPA came to power, under the leadership of Dr. Manmohan Singh, Mukherjee won the general elections for the first time from Jangipur. He handled key portfolios like Finance, Defense, and External Affairs.
India grieves the passing away of Bharat Ratna Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation. A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society. pic.twitter.com/gz6rwQbxi6— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 31, 2020
The senior in Congress was seen as number 2 in government until 2012 when he resigned for the next top job. He was sworn-in to President's office in July 2012 and held the position till 2017. In 2019, Mukherjee, regarded as one of the best statesmen India ever produced, received the highest civilian order — the Bharat Ratna for his contribution to India's growth.
Sad to hear that former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee is no more. His demise is passing of an era. 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.— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 31, 2020