Mrunal Manmay Dash

New Delhi: The 'man of all seasons', veteran politician and former president of India, Pranab Mukherjee passed away on Monday leaving the entire country in deep mourning. He was 84.

Fondly called as Pranab da, Mukherjee was admitted to the Army Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi Cantonment on August 10 and underwent an emergency surgery for removal of a clot in his brain. He was tested positive for COVID-19 before the life-saving operation.

Mukherjee served as the 13th President of India from 2012 till 2017. A powerful orator, scholar and a statesman, he was a Congress stalwart and the go to man for all senior to junior party leaders all his life.

Prior to his election as President, Mukherjee successfully spearheaded various ministries of defence, finance, external affairs, commerce, shipping, industries ministers during the Congress and UPA regimes from time to time.

He was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind in 2019.

Mukherjee was born in Mirati village under Birbhum district in West Bengal. He held a Master’s degree in Political Science & History and LL.B from Calcutta University.

Mukherjee is credited of playing a crucial role in getting through the controversial Indo-US nuclear deal – 123 Agreement — and earning an exemption for India from the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)