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India bids goodbye to Pranab Mukherjee; PM, President pay last respects

In order to mark respect to the departed leader, the Union Cabinet condoled and expressed profound sorrow at the sad demise of Pranab Mukherjee.

SNS | New Delhi |

The mortal remains of former President and Bharat Ratna recipient Pranab Mukherjee was taken to Lodhi Crematorium from his residence, 10 Rajaji Marg in New Delhi where the funeral took place with military honours.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu were among the dignitaries to pay the last respect.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and the chiefs of the three services also paid homage to the former president.

The 84-year-old Pranab Mukherjee was admitted after testing positive for coronavirus died yesterday.

Pranab Mukherjee was admitted to the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital on August 10, underwent life-saving brain surgery on the same day.

In order to mark respect to the departed leader, the Union Cabinet condoled and expressed profound sorrow at the sad demise of Pranab Mukherjee. “Cabinet also observed silence for 2 minutes in his memory,” MHA said.

Union Home Minister paid tribute to Pranab Mukherjee by saying, “It’s a sad day that Pranab Mukherjee isn’t among us anymore. He had expertise in taking everyone together. When in power, he always struck a balance with those in opposition. When in opposition, he never stepped away from playing a constructive role.”

Taking due care of the COVID-19 protocol, the body of the former President was taken for last rites in a hearse van instead of the gun carriage.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Home Affairs had announced to observe seven days mourning across the nation from August 31 to September 6 as a mark of respect to the departed former President of India Pranab Mukherjee.

“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,” it said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday expressed grief over the demise of former President Pranab Mukherjee.

Taking it to Twitter, he recalled his oath-taking ceremony during which Pranab Mukherjee was the President.

“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,” he said.

READ: ‘A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman’: PM Modi pays tribute to Pranab Mukherjee

Yesterday, Sharmistha Mukherjee, the daughter of the demised former President, had also paid tribute to her father in a message.

“I bow to all. Baba, taking the liberty to quote from your favourite poet to say your final goodbye to all. You have led a full, meaningful life in the service of the nation, in service of our people. I feel blessed to have been born as your daughter,” she said in a tweet.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had also tweeted:

Pranab Mukherjee was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour, in August last year.

Leaders paid homage to Pranab Mukherjee: