This Article is From Aug 31, 2020

"I Join Country In Paying Homage": Rahul Gandhi Mourns Pranab Mukherjee

The Congress tweeted its condolences for Pranab Mukherjee, who was known to be the party's chief troubleshooter, problem solver and go-to person.

'I Join Country In Paying Homage': Rahul Gandhi Mourns Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee will always be remembered "for his integrity & compassion", the Congress tweeted.

New Delhi:

The Congress today mourned the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee  – the man of all seasons for the party before he moved into the Rashtrapati Bhavan in 2012. Congress's interim chief Sonia Gandhi conveyed the party's deep sense of loss. In a letter to Mr Mukherjee's daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee, she wrote that it was "hard to imagine how we can do without his wisdom, experience, sage advice and deep understanding on so many subjects".

Citizen Mukherjee, as the former President called himself on his Twitter handle after leaving the country's top office, died this evening. The 84-year-old – whom many called the "Best Prime Minister India never had" -- had been in hospital since August 10, where he underwent a brain surgery and tested positive for coronavirus.

"With great sadness, the nation receives the news of the unfortunate demise of our former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. I join the country in paying homage to him. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family and friends," Congress's Rahul Gandhi tweeted minutes after Mr Mukherjee's death was announced by his son Abhijit Mukherjee.

The Congress tweeted its condolences for the leader, who was known to be the party's chief troubleshooter, problem solver and go-to person since the days of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

"We are deeply pained by the passing of Shri Pranab Mukherjee. Former President of India & one of the tallest leaders of the Congress Party, Shri Pranab Mukherjee will always be remembered for his integrity & compassion. Our prayers are with his family, followers & the nation," the party's tweet read.

Mr Mukherjee, who rose to prominence as a minister in Indira Gandhi's cabinet, was known for his deep understanding of Indian politics, economic policies as well as strategic issues.

But after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the man considered by many to be a candidate for the Prime Minister's post, had fallen out of favour with Rajiv Gandhi. Expelled In 1986, he formed his own party.

But the falling out was brief and Mr Mukherjee rejoined the Congress six years later.

As the elder statesman of Indian politics, Pranab Mukherjee had gained respect across the board and was conferred the Bharat Ratna award by the BJP-led government last year.

Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted  a series of photographs that showed him with Pranab Mukherjee.

The accompanying post read, "India grieves the passing away of Bharat Ratna Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation. A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society".