Pranab Mukherjee, the former President of India has died at 84, had been in a coma after his brain surgery earlier this month and also tested positive for coronavirus. In a political career spanning five decades, his life went through all the life’s ebb and flow. Here are some of the remarkable moments in his political journey :
- Becoming India’s youngest finance minister. It was the year 1969 when Indira Gandhi first spotted him while he was working as an agent in a by-election campaign of VK Krishna Menon. She was impressed with his political acuity and brought him into Congress. Later he became the youngest finance minister of India at the age of 47, in 1982.
- Exit from Congress party. After the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984, a rift grew between Mukherjee and the Congress Party as he felt he was the rightful heir to the post of Congress president but instead was given to Rajiv Gandhi. After a power struggle, Mukherjee formed his own political party ‘Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress’ but it was later merged with Congress in 1989.
- Mukherjee became the 13th President of India on July 25, 2012, and served till July 25, 2017. Due to growing health problems, he retired from politics they same year.
- In June 2018, Mukherjee addressed a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) event, making him the first former President of India India to do so.
- In 2019 Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour was awarded to Mukherjee by incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind.