Former president and Congress veteran Pranab Mukherjee passed away on August 31. The 84-year-old was admitted to the military hospital around noon on August 10, and had also tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the surgery. His condition had remained critical a day after he underwent a brain surgery.
A look at Mukherjee's five-decade-long political career
Born in Mirati, a village in West Bengal's Birbhum district, Mukherjee was the thirteenth president of India who held the Constitutional office from 2012 to 2017. Before this, he held the post of the country's finance minister from 2009 to 2012.
The son of freedom fighters, Pranab Mukherjee made his entry into the Parliament in 1969, as a member of the Rajya Sabha. His rise in his political career was under the mentorship of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, whom he called "a towering personality" with "the courage to call a spade a spade".
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Often described as the quintessential 'Man Friday' of the Congress party, Mukherjee has had the rare distinction of having served at different times as foreign, defence and finance minister.
However, there was a brief period during Mukherjee's career, after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, when he fell out of favour with Rajiv Gandhi. Left out in the cold for quite some time, he formed a splinter group -- the Rashtriya Samajwadi Party in 1986. But this party died a quick death as it went on to merge with the Indian National Congress in 1989.
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In his long political career spanning over half a century, the Congress leader held various posts and served the country in various capacities.
Pranab Mukherjee has also had a seat at the table of various international organisations, with memberships in the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. He also presided over the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation on various occasions.
Other than this, he also authored several books during the course of his lifetime. In 2019, he was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, by President Ram Nath Kovind.