Tributes pour in from across political spectrum for a colossus of public life
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described him as a scholar par excellence and a towering statesman who was admired across the political spectrum.
Political leaders cutting across party lines paid tributes to former President Pranab Mukherjee, who died at the age of 84 on Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described him as a scholar par excellence and a towering statesman who was admired across the political spectrum. Modi said Pranab has left an indelible mark on the nation’s development trajectory.
“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,” the PM tweeted.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi recalled Pranab’s long association with her party and said the void left behind by his demise would be difficult to fill. “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 utmost dedication.”
West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee expressed deep sorrow over the 84-year-old’s death and said with his demise “an era has come to an end”.
“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,” Banerjee tweeted.
Kerala chief minister and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Pinarayi Vijayan said that Pranab was a politician “who played a significant role in upholding India’s prestige at the international level”. “He stood for the protection and empowerment of constitutional values and constantly strived to inculcate values in the society, including secularism,” he said.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat hailed the former president as “a great scholar and a patriot” whose loss cannot be compensated.
“India’s former President Dr Pranab Mukherjee’s passing away is a huge loss for all swayamsevaks who had come in contact with him. I had met him twice when he was President and three to four times afterwards,” Bhagwat said in a video message in Hindi.
Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also expressed sorrow over the demise of Mukherjee.
“His demise has caused an irreparable loss to the political arena of the sub-continent,” Hamid said, describing Mukherjee as a “real and sincere friend” of Bangladesh. Hasina, too, called Mukherjee a “true friend” of Bangladesh and a guardian-like figure to her family. “The news of Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s demise deeply saddened her . . . she became emotional and nostalgic as she reminisced her many memories with him,” state-run BSS reported, quoting the premier’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim.