Political world and civil society reacts to Pranab Mukherjee’s death | Latest updates

Former President Pranab Mukherjee has passed away, his son Abhijit Mukherjee has said. In pictures

Former President Pranab Mukherjee has passed away, his son Abhijit Mukherjee has said.

In pictures | Pranab Mukherjee (1935-2020)

“With a Heavy Heart , this is to inform you that my father Shri #PranabMukherjee has just passed away inspite of the best efforts of Doctors of RR Hospital & prayers ,duas & prarthanas from people throughout India ! I thank all of You,” Mr. Abhijit Mukherjee tweeted.

In a statement Ministry of Home Affairs said “As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, seven days State Mourning will be observed throughout India from 31.08.2020 to 06.09.2020, both days inclusive. During the 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 date, time and venue of the State Funeral will be intimated later, the MHA added.

Obituary | The end of a long walk

President Ram Nath Kovind

 

Sad to hear that former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee is no more. His demise is passing of an era. A colossus in public life, he served Mother India with the spirit of a sage. The nation mourns losing one of its worthiest sons. Condolences to his family, friends & all citizens.

Endowed with perspicacity and wisdom, Bharat Ratna Shri Mukherjee combined tradition and modernity. In his 5 decade long illustrious public life, he remained rooted to the ground irrespective of the exalted offices he held. He endeared himself to people across political spectrum.

As the First Citizen, he continued to connect with everyone, bringing Rashtrapati Bhavan closer to the people. He opened its gates for public visit. His decision to discontinue the use of the honorific ‘His Excellency’ was historic.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu

“The country has lost an elder statesman in his death. He rose from humble beginnings to occupy the country’s highest constitutional position through hard work, discipline and dedication,” the Vice President Secretariat tweeted quoting Mr. Naidu.

Mukherjee brought dignity and decorum to every post held by him during his long and distinguished public service, the vice president observed.

“My deepest condolences to the bereaved family members. Om Shanti,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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.

During his political career that spanned decades, Shri Pranab Mukherjee made long-lasting contributions in key economic and strategic ministries. He was an outstanding Parliamentarian, always well-prepared, extremely articulate as well as witty.

As India’s President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee made Rashtrapati Bhavan even more accessible to common citizens. He made the President’s house a centre of learning, innovation, culture, science and literature. His wise counsel on key policy matters will never be forgotten by me.

I was new to Delhi in 2014. From Day 1, I was blessed to have the guidance, support and blessings of Shri Pranab Mukherjee. I will always cherish my interactions with him. Condolences to his family, friends, admirers and supporters across India. Om Shanti.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

I have learnt with profound sorrow about the passing away of Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Former President of India.   

In his death, our country has  lost one of its  greatest leaders of Independent India.  He and I worked very closely in the Government of India and I depended on him a great deal for his wisdom, vast knowledge and experience of public affairs.

I wish to convey to all members of his family, my deepest condolences on this sad occasion.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi

Expressing great shock over the demise of former President Pranabh Mukherjee, party president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said she learnt a lot from the Congress veteran, who brought distinction to every post he held.

In her condolence letter to Sharmistha Mukherjee, the daughter of the former president, the Congress chief said his life over the past five decades mirrored 50 years of India’s history.

“He brought distinction to every post he held. He established a genuine rapport with colleagues across the political spectrum, and he served our country with the utmost dedication,” Ms. Gandhi said.

She further said, “Pranab Da had been such an integral and prominent part of national life, the Congress party and the central government for over five decades, it is hard to imagine how we can do without his wisdom, experience, sage advice and deep understanding of so many subjects.”

“His life over the past 50 years mirrored 50 years of the history of India, for he played a crucial role both in shaping the course of events as well as actively participating in them, whether as a cabinet minister, parliamentarian or President of India,” Ms. Gandhi said in her message.

Mukherjee had been critically ill for some days, it still comes as a great shock to learn of his passing, the Congress chief said.

Noting that she personally had so many warm memories of her working with him, she said, “I learnt so much from him. The Congress party deeply mourns his loss and will always honour his memory.”

Sending her condolences to Sharmistha, her brother and other family members, Ms.  Gandhi said “Pranab Da has now been released from his suffering. May his soul rest in peace”.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla

Expressing grief over former president Pranab Mukherjee’s demise, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday said he served the nation with exemplary dedication.

His experience in parliamentary and administrative matters was unmatched, a quality which manifested itself in his extraordinary work ethic, Mr. Birla said.

Mukherjee never let politics overshadow his personal relationship. It was an attribute that allowed him to easily build consensus on some of the most important and complex political matters, he said.

Israel President Reuven Rivlin

Describing former president Pranab Mukherjee as a “true friend of Israel”, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday expressed his condolences at the passing away of one of India’s most respected politicians, saying he helped strengthen the ties between the two countries.

“Israel stands with the people of India and the family of former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee in mourning his passing,” Mr. Rivlin wrote in a tweet.

“A statesman much respected at home and abroad and a true friend of Israel who strengthened the deep ties between our countries and peoples,” he added.

Mukherjee became the first Indian President to visit Israel in October 2015, setting up the stage for the first visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017.

Mr. Rivlin visited India in 2016 at Mukherjee’s invitation and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2018, leading to the elevation of the bilateral ties to the level of strategic partnership.

Singapore in India

Our deepest condolences on the passing of Shri Pranab Mukherjee. His dedication and passion to serving India over his long and sterling career is an inspiration to all. He was also a good friend of Singapore and contributed immensely to strengthening relations. We will miss him.

 

Union Home Minister Amit Shah

“Deeply anguished on the passing away of former President of India, Bharat Ratna Shri Pranab Mukherjee ji. He was a vastly experienced leader who served the nation with utmost devotion. Pranab da’s distinguished career is a matter of great pride for the entire country,” Mr. Shah tweeted.

“His demise has left a huge void in Indian polity. My sincerest condolences are with his family and followers on this irreparable loss. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti,” the minister said.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

Pranab Mukherjee kept national interest supreme, didn’t believe in political untouchability, said RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Mr. Bhagwat said “Mukherjee was like a guide to RSS and affectionate towards us; his death irreparable loss to Sangh.”

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday mourned former president Pranab Mukherjee’s death saying a “colossus in public life has left for heavenly abode”.

He extended his condolences to the family members and friends of the former president.

“Deeply condole the death of former President Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee. An era has come to an end. A colossus in public life has left for heavenly abode. He served Mother India with statesman spirit like a sage rising above partisan politics.

“The nation mourns losing one of its worthiest sons.

Condolences to his family, friends and all citizens,” Mr. Dhankhar said in a statement released by the Raj Bhavan.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

 

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.

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan

Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party patron Ram Vilas Paswan paid fond tributes to former president Pranab Mukherjee on Monday, remembering him as a stalwart with deep grasp of Indian polity who guided politicians across the ideological spectrum.

Mr. Paswan, whose association with Mukherjee goes back by over five decades, said he was in a shock at his death and observed that there were few leaders as conversant with the constitutional mechanism and parliamentary rules and conventions as the former president was.

“He was always willing to help people about the correct way forward whenever one approached him. Whether it was his understanding of economy, our parliamentary system or political affairs, his knowledge and wisdom were unparalleled,” Mr. Paswan said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday expressed deep sorrow over the death of former president Pranab Mukherjee and said with his demise “an era has come to an end”.

She recollected her long association with Mukherjee and extended her condolence to his son and daughter.

“It is with deep sorrow I write this. Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee has left us. An era has ended. For decades he was a father figure. From my first win as MP, to being my senior Cabinet colleague, to his becoming President while I was CM,” Ms. Banerjee said in a statement released from the State secretariat.

“So many memories. A visit to Delhi without Pranabda is unimaginable. He is a legend in all subjects from politics to economics. Will be forever grateful. Shall miss him immensely. My condolences to Abhijit & Sharmistha,” she added.

BJP president J.P. Nadda

Expressing grief over the demise of former President Pranab Mukherjee, BJP president JP Nadda on Monday said he served the country with diligence and was admired across party lines.

“Saddened by the demise of former President and statesman Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He has served the Country in many roles with diligence and determination. He is widely admired across the parties for his intellect and perseverance . My condolences to his family and followers,” Mr. Nadda said on Twitter.

Former Union Minister P Chidambaram

There is no one in this country, who does not know the life and contribution of Shri Pranab Mukherjee.

 I had worked with him for many-many years and, in particular, I worked with him very closely between 2004 and 2014. He had a phenomenal memory, a very sharp insight into political and economic developments and a thorough understanding of the economy and matters connected there with which concerned the ordinary people.

With his passing away, not only the Congress, but, the entire political spectrum of this country has lost a lifelong and a valiant soldier. To us in the Congress, it is an irreparable loss. Such man or woman appears  on the political scene very rarely.

Mr. Pranab Mukherjee was such a rare man that he left an imprint on anything that he came in contact with. We will miss him sorely, the nation will miss him sorely.

Left Parties

The Left parties have expressed grief over the passing away of former President Pranab Mukherjee, recalling that he maintained cordial relations with leaders from across party lines and often played the role of interlocutor for the governments he represented.

The CPI(M) in a statement said Mukherjee was one of India’s leading political figures who contributed in various capacities as an elected member of parliament and served as senior minister in many governments for decades, before being finally elected as the President of India

He maintained cordial relations with political parties across the board and often played the role of the main interlocutor for the governments he represented. The Poliburo of the CPI(M) conveys its deepest condolences to his son Abhijeet and daughter Sharmistha and other family members, the statement said.

CPI general secretary D Raja offered his condolences to the family and said Mujhkerjee will be remembered for serving the people of the country in every post that he held.

The CPI offers its solemn homage to an outstanding politician and statesman of this country. He held different positions during his long and illustrious career, but in each, he served the people of this country,” Raja said.

“He (Mukherjee) was known for his political knowledge and kept good relations with leaders across parties. He had a phenomenal memory and his death is a huge loss for the country, he said

India Inc

Indian industry on Monday paid rich tributes to former president Pranab Mukherjee, lauding his contribution to the economy and describing him as a great statesman and outstanding administrator.

“India has lost one of its most remarkable public figures today who was respected across the board. FICCI condoles the passing away of Pranab Mukherjee, a supporter of the Indian industry, astute leader and a great nationalist,” Ficci President Sangita Reddy said.

RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group Chairman Sanjiv Goenka said that “a big banyan tree of Indian democracy” is no more.

“All I can do is to join my countrymen to mourn the loss of a great statesman who from a village boy became a teacher and then moved forward non-stop to create history as a great legislator and an outstanding administrator,” Goenka stated.

Assocham Secretary General Deepak Sood said, “With his demise, the country has lost a seasoned politician, a great administrator and an Indian who was truly a Bharat Ratna“.

Sood said Mukherjee’s contribution to the Indian economy in various capacities was of high standard and great depth.

“Saddened by the demise of former President Pranab Mukherjee. He was an excellent statesman, great leader, loved & admired by ppl across political lines. My condolences, thoughts and prayers with his family and loved ones. Om Shanti,” JSPL Chairman Naveen Jindal said.

In a tweet, Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das said he was deeply saddened by the demise of the former president.

“Deeply saddened by the demise of Shri Pranab Mukherjee. His knowledge and memory about independent India’s economic history were phenomenal. A sharp mind. A true statesman. Was privileged to work with him closely as Joint/Additional Secretary Budget. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.

Tamil Nadu leaders

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and leaders cutting across party lines condoled the demise of former President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday and paid rich tributes to him.

Mr. Purohit said “he was an outstanding Parliamentarian, statesman par excellence and outstanding politician.

Respected by everyone, he had tremendous knowledge of Indias polity and history and served the country with complete devotion and dedication in various capacities.

He brought dignity to all the posts he held and worked diligently and tirelessly for the common man.”

Mr. Palaniswami praised Mukherjee for his yeoman service to the people through his long career as a member of both Houses of Parliament, as a Minister for Finance, Defence and External Affairs.

Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Mr. Palaniswami, in a joint AIADMK statement, paid rich tributes to Mukherjee.

Mr. Stalin said Mukherjee’s hard work and capabilities took him from a village in West Bengal to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and with his death, India has lost a master “strategist” and a steadfast guardian of the basic features of the Constitution like secularism.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K S Alagiri hailed him as one who stood behind the late Indira Gandhi in 1969 when the party witnessed a split and he wasat the forefront in persuading Sonia Gandhi in 1998 to head the party.

PMK founder leader S Ramadoss said Mukherjee never compromised on India’s interests when he was the defence and external affairs minister.

BJP state unit chief L Murugan, CPI State Secretary R Mutharasan, Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary TTV Dhinakaran were among others who condoled Mukherjee’s death.

Expressing grief, Purohit and leaders of all parties extended their condolences to the bereaved members of Mukherjee’s family.

Bihar leaders

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi and a host of prominent leaders of the state Monday mourned the death of former president Pranab Mukherjee.

Expressing his grief over Mukherjee’s death, Mr. Kumar in his condolence message called the former president “Ajatshatru of politics” who was equally respected by both ruling and opposition, an official release said.

Mukherjee was a renowned politician, efficient administrator and eloquent speaker and his death marked the end of an era and a “personal loss” for him, the Bihar Chief Minister said.

“I had a very close relation with Pranab Mukherjee who guided me on several occasions, Kumar said adding that his death has caused a void in politics.

“Mukherjee was very dear to all because of his affable and gentle nature and his death marks the end of an era.”

“In his five decade old political career, Mukherjee had held various important portfolios including defence, finance, foreign affairs, revenue, shipping, transport, communications, economic affairs, commerce and industry,” he added.

Former chief minister Rabri Devi, Bihar Legislative Council acting Chairman Awadhesh Narayan Singh, Leader of Opposition in Bihar assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, a host of Bihar ministers , leaders of political parties condoled the death of former president and called him a great politician.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi expressed grief over Mukherjee’s death saying it is a “personal loss”. Even Mukherjee’s political rivals admired him because his qualities, he added.

Shashi Tharoor

The last time I shared a stage with @CitiznMukherjee, our respected Pranab-da, was just a few months ago. He seemed well&spoke at length in his inimitable style. The loss for so many of us is personal as well as political. A statesman&guide is no more

Anand Sharma

Deeply saddened by the death of shri Pranab Mukherjee. India has lost a great leader and statesman at a time when nation needed his wise guidance. @INCIndia has lost a stalwart who made enormous contribution to public life in his long and illustrious career.Pranab da will be fondly remembered as a great Parliamentarian for his erudition, articulation commitment to democracy

Manish Tewari

My Condolences on sad demise of @CitiznMukherjee . I first met him way back in 1975 as a ten year old at our residence in Chandigarh. Had privilege of knowing him closely over the years. Brilliant & Mercurial. He did not suffer fools easily. May his soul rest in peace.

Ashwani Kumar

In the passing away of Bharat Ratna President Pranab Mukherjee,India has lost its great son who did his nation proud.A scholar statesman he strode like a colossus on India’s political firmament and contributed in different capacities in the task of nation building .His knowledge of the Constitution and its functioning was better than most constitutional lawyers .He was a virtual encyclopedia of the nations political and parliamentary history and very early in his politics life ,his talents were recognized by Indira ji. A grateful nation will remember its great son with reverence and gratitude.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday condoled the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee, saying the Mother India has lost her “virtuous and devoted son”.

“Deeply saddened to hear that former president Shri Pranab Mukherjee is no more. Today, mother India has lost her virtuous and devoted son. I pray to god for peace to the departed soul and strength to the family to bear this profound sorrow,” Mr. Chouhan tweeted.

Telangana CM K. Chandrasekhar Rao

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday said the political stalwart had a special affinity with the Telangana issue.

He said that Pranab Mukherjee, who headed the Committee on the separate Telangana State issue, formed by the then UPA government, had the distinction of signing the formation of Telangana State Bill.

Mr. Rao said it was unfortunate that the best efforts put in by doctors for the past several weeks to save the life of the ailing former President did not succeed, according to a release from the Chief Minister’s Office .

Expressing his grief and also of the people of Telangana, KCR, as Rao is also referred to, said Pranab Mukherjees death has left a void in the countrys political arena, which cannot be filled.

The Chief Minister also conveyed his condolences to members of the bereaved family.

“The former President used to say that there was justice in demand for a separate Telangana statehood and he used to offer several useful suggestions to me.

Pranab Mukherjee bestowed special praise on me, saying that very few leaders have the rare opportunity of seeing the movement launched by them reaching its goal and he said I am privileged to have that rare opportunity and greatness,” the release quoted Mr. Rao as saying.

Referring to the book ‘The Coalition Years’, written by Pranab Mukherjee, the Chief Minister recalled that the Telangana statehood issue was also mentioned in the book.

Sporting fraternity

The Indian sporting fraternity, led by cricket team captain Virat Kohli, on Monday condoled the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee, saying the nation has lost a great leader who was loved by all.

“The nation has lost a brilliant leader. Saddened to hear about the passing of Shri Pranab Mukherjee. My sincere condolences to his family,” Kohli tweeted.

Former India opener-turned BJP Member of Parliament Gautam Gambhir said Mukherjee was a stalwart of Indian politics who was loved by all and sundry.

“Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He belonged to the league of leaders respected & loved across the spectrum. May god give strength to his family & loves ones. The nation will remember his immense contributions forever!” Gambhir said.

India spin legend Anil Kumble and current Test team vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane also paid their respects to departed soul.

“Heartfelt condolences on the passing of Shri. Pranab Mukherjee. May his soul rest in peace,” Kumble tweeted.

Rahane added: “Deeply saddened to learn about the passing away of Former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. My heartfelt condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.”

Former India opener Virender Sehwag and current national team pacer Ishant Sharma also followed their colleagues.

“My heartfelt condolences on the passing away of Shri #PranabMukherjee. Om Shanti,” Sehwag tweeted.

Ishant added: “Deeply saddened by the demise of our former President, Shri #PranabMukherjee! He was a great leader and served our country in many ways! Condolences to friends and family! Rest in Peace.”

Not just cricketers, Olympic medallist shuttler Saina Nehwal and wrestler Sushil Kumar also took to social media to pay homage to the departed leader.

“Extremely saddened to hear about the demise of Former President & Bharat Ratna Shri Pranab Mukherjee,” Saina wrote.

“Deeply saddened at the demise of Former President of India, Bharat Ratna Shri. Pranab Mukherjee My deepest condolences to his family. India has lost a great leader today,” Sushil added.

Woman wrestler Geeta Phogat wrote: “Deeply saddened by the demise of our Former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. Heartfelt deepest condolences to the friends & a family. May his soul rest in peace.”

Lord Swraj Paul

Leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul described former President of India Pranab Mukherjee as an outstanding personality who devoted his entire life for the welfare of the nation.

In a condolence message on Monday, Lord Paul said, “Sad to learn about the untimely death of former president of India Pranab Mukkherjee.

“He was a friend for the last 53 years. He held every major portfolios in the Indian Cabinet, ultimately rising to the position of President of India and winning Bharat Ratna.

“He was an outstanding personality who devoted his entire life for the welfare of the nation. My heartfelt condolences to his whole family.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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