New Delhi: Former President Pranab Mukherjee will be conferred with the country’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna by President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday.
Mukherjee’s life-long political career spanned about five decades, during which he held various important posts in the Congress as well as in the governments led by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh.
Mukherjee served as India’s 13th President from 2012-2017, but prior to his election to the post, he also served as the Union Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012. As Finance Minister, Mukherjee signed the letter appointing Manmohan Singh as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
‘I’ve got much more from the people and from this country than I have given to it’
Born on December 11, 1935, in a Bengali family in Mirati, a village in Birbhum district in West Bengal, Mukherjee completed his Masters in Political Science and History and LLB degree from University of Calcutta.
After being selected for India’s highest civilian award, former President, popularly known as ‘Pranab Da’, had expressed his appreciation on being bestowed with the Bharat Ratna saying “I’ve got much more from the people and from this country than I have given to it”.
“I would like to express my deep gratitude to the people of this country…At the same time, with all modesty, I accept this honour. I have conveyed my appreciation by talking to the President of the Republic. I also convey my deepest gratitude to the people of this country,” he had told media on January 26.
Political leaders across party lines had also wished Mukherjee when his name was announced for Bharat Ratna in January, this year.