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US presidential candidate Joe Biden pays tribute to former president Pranab Mukherjee

Sept. 1, 2020, 1:49 p.m.

Washington: In a message condoling the demise of former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called the veteran statesman a “devout public servant”.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, the former US Vice President said: “President Shri Pranab Mukherjee was a devout public servant who believed deeply in the importance of our two nations tackling global challenges together.

“Jill and I are saddened to hear of his passing — our prayers go out to his loved ones and the Indian people.”

Biden also attached a photo of him and Mukherjee along with his post.

Pranab Mukherjee, one of the India’s most respected politicians, died at the age of 84 on Monday evening.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, had been in coma after a brain surgery earlier this month.

Pranab Mukherjee was the President of India from 2012 to 2017.

Pranab Mukherjee was conferred the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, in 2019, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Union Cabinet condoled the sad demise of former President Pranab Mukherjee, who passed away here at the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital during treatment on Monday.

The Cabinet observed silence for two minutes in his memory.

Pranab Mukherjee had gone into septic shock due to his lung infection and was hospitalised on August 10 in a critical condition.

The Cabinet later passed a resolution, saying: “In his (Pranab Mukherjee) passing away, the country has lost a distinguished leader and an outstanding parliamentarian”.

Pranab Mukherjee, the 13th President of India, was a man of unparalleled experience in governance who served as the Union Foreign, Defence, Commerce and Finance Minister, the Cabinet said.

“Mukherjee has left his imprint on our national life. In his death, the country has lost a distinguished national leader, accomplished Parliamentarian and a tall statesman.”

The Cabinet recorded its deep appreciation of the services of Pranab Mukherjee to the nation and extended its heartfelt condolences to the members of his bereaved family on behalf of the government and the entire nation.

Born on December 11, 1935 in the small village of Mirati in Birbhum district of West Bengal, Pranab Mukherjee acquired a Master’s degree in History and Political Science as well as a degree in Law from the University of Kolkata.

Pranab Mukherjee then embarked on his professional life as a college teacher and journalist. Inspired by his father’s contribution to the national movement, Pranab Mukherjee started his full time public life following his election to the Rajya Sabha in 1969.

Pranab Mukherjee served as Deputy Minister, Industry; Shipping and Transport, Steel and Industry and Minister of State for Finance during 1973-75. He assumed office as the Finance Minister of India for the first time in 1982 and was Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha from 1980 to 1985. 

He became Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission from 1991 to 1996; concurrently Minister for Commerce from 1993 to 1995 and Minister of External Affairs from 1995 to 1996; Minister of Defence from 2004 to 2006.

He again served as the Minister of External Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2012. He was Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2012.

Pranab Mukherjee assumed office of the President of India on July 25, 2012 and served his full term of five years. As President, Pranab Mukherjee lent dignity to the high office and brought to bear his scholarly and humanitarian outlook on national and international affairs.

A prolific reader, Pranab Mukherjee has authored several books on the Indian Economy and on Nation Building. 

(With IANS inputs)

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