In a letter written to his daughter, Sharmishtha Mukherjee, Gandhi said Mukherjee had been “an integral and prominent part of national life, Congress party and the central government for over five decades…. It is hard to imagine how we can do without his wisdom, experience, sage advice and deep understanding of so many subjects.”
“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 the utmost dedication,” Gandhi wrote.
The Congress president also said Mukherjee’s life over the past 50 years mirrored 50 years of the history of India.
“He played a crucial role both in shaping the course of events as well actively participating in them, whether as a cabinet minister, parliamentarian or President of India,” she wrote in the letter, adding that the Congress party deeply mourns his loss and always honour his memory.
Former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh offered his condolences to Mukherjee’s family and said that in his passing away the country “lost one of its greatest leaders of Independent India”.
“He and I worked very closely in the government of India and I depended on him a great deal for his wisdom, vast knowledge and experience of public affairs,” Singh said in a statement.
With great sadness, the nation receives the news of the unfortunate demise of our former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee.
I join the country in paying homage to him.
My deepest condolences to the bereaved family and friends. pic.twitter.com/zyouvsmb3V
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 31, 2020
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also offered his condolences. “With great sadness, the nation receives the news of the unfortunate demise of our former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. I join the country in paying homage to him,” he said in a tweet.
Pranab Mukherjee, a Bharat Ratna, passed away at the Army RR Hospital in Delhi Monday evening. He had, earlier this month, undergone brain surgery.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines