Bharat Ratna conferred on Pranab Mukherjee, Bhupen Hazarika, Nanaji Deshmukh

New Delhi: The highest civilian award of the country Bharat Ratna was conferred on former President Pranab Mukherjee by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday evening.

Music maestro from Assam Late Bhupen Hazarika and social worker Late Nanaji Deshmukh were also awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously.

Mr Mukherjee also greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu after receiving the prestigious award from the President.

Mr Mukherjee, who was President from 2012 to 2017, has had a distinguished political career spanning five decades during which he has held several top ministerial portfolios at the Centre.

Son of Bhupen Hazarika, Tej Hazarika, received the award on his behalf from Mr Kovind.

Chairman of Deendayal Research Institute, Virendrajeet Singh, received the highest civilian award on behalf of Nanaji Deshmukh.

A social activist and a former RSS functionary, Nanaji Deshmukh, has worked in the fields of education, health, and rural self-reliance.

The award function was attended by BJP patriarch L K Advani, Union Ministers Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Harsh Vardhan, and Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmistha, among others.

(With Agency Inputs)