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Pranab Mukherjee to receive Bharat Ratna today

The former president was selected for Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award - by incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind, said a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhawan in January 2019.

Pranab Mukherjee to receive Bharat Ratna today

New Delhi: India's 13th President Pranab Mukherjee would be conferred with Bharat Ratna award on Thursday.

Along with Mukherjee, social activist Late Shri Nanaji Deshmukh and eminent singer Late Shri Bhupen Hazarika would be receiving the Bharat Ratna on August 8 posthumously.

The former president was selected for Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award - by incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind, said a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhawan in January 2019.

Lauding Mukherjee for years of service to the nation, PM Narendra Modi had taken to Twitter in January and said, "Pranab Da is an outstanding statesman of our times. He has served the nation selflessly and tirelessly for decades, leaving a strong imprint on the nation’s growth trajectory. His wisdom and intellect have few parallels. Delighted that he has been conferred the Bharat Ratna."

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had also expressed his wishes to the former President. "Congratulations to Pranab Da on being awarded the Bharat Ratna! The Congress Party takes great pride in the fact that the immense contribution to public service & nation-building of one of our own,  has been recognised & honoured," Gandhi had tweeted.

Born in 1935 in a house of freedom fighters in West Bengal, Mukherjee worked as a journalist before deciding to dive into politics following his election to the Rajya Sabha in 1969.

Mukherjee was elected to Rajya Sabha as a Congress minister for four times. He has held several important portfolios in the Congress government including Commerce Minister from 1993 to 1995, Minister of External Affairs from 1995 to 1996, Defence Minister from 2004 to 2006 and Minister of External Affairs from 2006 to 2009. 

He was the Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012 when he resigned to become the 13th President of India on July 25, 2012.