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From clerk to president … Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee’s life journey was such, know how Indira Gandhi brought in Congress

From clerk to president … Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee’s life journey was such, know how Indira Gandhi brought in Congress

Pranab Mukherjee, the former President of the country and one of the leading leaders of independent India has passed away. He was 84 years old. He is one of the few leaders of Indian politics, who are respected by members of all parties alike and affectionately call him Pranab da. Seeing his contribution to the politics of the country, the NDA government led by Prime Minister Modi awarded him with the title Bharat Ratna last year. Let’s have a look at the journey of the life of the Eastern President …

Home birth of freedom fighter
Pranab Mukherjee was born on December 11, 1935, in the village of Mirati, in the Virbhoomi district of West Bengal, to the house of Kamada Kinker Mukherjee and Shri Mati Rajalakshmi Mukherjee. His father Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee was a freedom fighter and later represented the Indian National Congress. He was also a member of the All India Congress Committee. From 1952 to 1964, Pranab’s father Kamada was also a member of the West Bengal Legislative Council. Pranab Mukherjee received his early education from Suri Vidyasagar College in Virbhoomi district. He then received a Master’s degree in Political Science (M.A) and a Bachelor of Law (L.L.B) from the University of Calcutta.

Pranab Mukherjee tied the knot on 13 July 1957 with Suvra Mukherjee, a resident of Nariyal based in Bangladesh and came with his family at the age of 10 to the erstwhile Kal, now known as Calcutta. They both have two sons and a daughter. The sons are named Abhishek Mukherjee and Abhijeet Mukherjee. The daughter’s name is Sharmistha Mukherjee. Pranab Mukherjee is fondly called by Pranab da in political circles. Pranab da, despite being in active politics, has been visiting his village Mirati every year on the occasion of Durga Puja. He loves drinking pipes, writing di, reading a lot of books, gardening and listening to music.

Life before Pranab Mukherjee entered politics
After completing his education, Pranab Mukherjee was an additional division clerk in the post and telegraph department in Calcutta. Pranab da also briefly taught political science in 1963 at Vidyanagar College in 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. He also served as a journalist for some time in a newspaper called ‘Desher Dak’.

How did Pranab Mukherjee enter politics?
Pranab Mukherjee’s first exposure to politics came when he campaigned for the 1969 Midnapur by-election, VK Krishna Menon, an independent candidate. The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was very impressed with Pranab Mukherjee’s electoral strategic skills in that by-election and made him a member of the Indian National Congress Party. In July this year, Congress sent Pranab Mukherjee to the Rajya Sabha. And thus Pranab Mukherjee clearly entered politics.

Pranab Mukherjee’s 45-year political journey is attractive
Pranab da reached the Upper House for the first time in 1969 as a Congress candidate. He was the ‘Industrial Development Minister’ from February 1973 to January 1974. He was the shipping and transport minister from January 1974 to October 1974. From October 1974 to December 1975 he was the ‘Minister of State for Finance’. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the second time in July 1975. From December 1975 to March 1977 he joined the Ministry of Revenue and Banking as Minister of State (Independent Charge). From 1978 to 1980 he was the Deputy Leader of the Congress Party in the Rajya Sabha.

Congress troubleshooter, holding various positions for years
Pranab da was a member of the Congress Working Committee from 27 January 1978 to 18 January 1986 and from 10 August 1997 to 25 June 2012. He was the Treasurer of All India National Congress Deficiency from 1978 to 1979. From 1978 to 1986 he was a member of the Central Parliamentary Board of the All India National Congress Committee. From January 1980 to January 1982 he was the Union Minister in the Ministry of Steel and Mines and Commerce. From 1980 to 1985 he was the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha. He became a Rajya Sabha member for the third time in August 1981. He was the Chairman of the Campaign Committee of the Congress in the 1984, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999 Lok Sabha elections.

Total 5 times Rajya Sabha and 2 times Lok Sabha members
Pranab Mukherjee was the President of the West Bengal Congress Committee from 1985 and August 2000 to June 2010. He has been the Deputy Chairman of the then Planning Commission from June 1991 to 196, now known as ‘Niti Aayog’. He became a member of Rajya Sabha for the fourth time in 1993. He was the Foreign Minister of India from February 1995 to May 1996. From 1996 to 2004 he was the Chief Whip of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha. In 1999, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the fifth time. Pranab da reached the Lok Sabha for the first time in 2004 by winning the election from Jangipur parliamentary seat of West Bengal and was the leader of the House till June 2012. He was the Defense Minister of India from 23 May 2004 to 24 October 2006.

Handled from foreign ministry to finance ministry
Pranab da was the External Affairs Minister of India from 25 October 2006 to 23 May 2009. He was also the Finance Minister of the country from 24 January 2009 to May 2012. On 20 May 2009, he was elected for the second time to the 15th Lok Sabha from Jangipur parliamentary seat. Pranab da resigned from the Indian National Congress Party on 25 June 2012 and was the 13th President of India from 2012 to 2017. Thus, after becoming President, Pranab da’s nearly 45-year-long political career came to an end.