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Ex-President Pranab Mukherjee Laid to Rest; PM, Prez Pay Respects

Former president and veteran Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee passed away on Monday at the age of 84.

Updated
India
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Former President and veteran Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee was laid to rest with full military honours on Tuesday, 1 September, with his last rites performed at the Lodhi crematorium in Delhi by his son Abhijit Mukherjee. Family members were in PPE kits in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Earlier during the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, former PM Manmohan Singh and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were among the scores of leaders who paid their last respects to Mukherjee at his residence.

The former president passed away on Monday at the age of 84. He had earlier tested positive for COVID-19 and had undergone an emergency life-saving surgery for a brain clot. His health continued to remain critical after the surgery and he was put on ventilatory support.

Among other leaders and officials who paid their last respects to Mukherjee at his residence, 10 Rajaji Marg, were Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, and the three service chiefs General MM Naravane, RKS Bhadauria and Admiral Karambir Singh.

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‘Left a Void’

Reacting to his father’s passing, Abhijeet Mukherjee said, “His presence was support for our family, we'll miss him. I feel COVID was not the main factor for his death rather it was the brain operation. I had plans to take him to West Bengal but due to current restrictions we couldn't do so.”

"Pranab Mukherjee has left a void. He was generous and kind, who used to make me forget that I am talking to the president of India. It was in his nature to make everyone his own, despite political differences. He'll be remembered always," Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat was quoted as saying by news agency ANI on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah said, "It's a sad day for all of us that Pranab Da isn't there with us anymore. Those who want to come in politics and learn how to work without any controversy, should observe his political life and follow him."

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As a mark of respect, the government on Monday evening also announced that seven days’ state mourning will be observed throughout India from 31 August to 6 September. During this period of state mourning, the National Flag will fly at half-mast on all buildings throughout India, where it is flown regularly and there will be no official entertainment, the government announced.

Mukherjee was conferred India’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, by President Ram Nath Kovind on 8 August 2019.

His political career spanned five decades, during which he served as the thirteenth president of India from 2012-2017 and as the Union finance minister from 2009 to 2012.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)

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