Former President Pranab Mukherjee died on Monday. His age was 84. On Monday morning, Mukherjee’s condition deteriorated and he suffered a septic shock due to his lung infection, the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital said.
Mukherjee became famous as the crisis manager who started as a protege of Indira Gandhi, who stood by her side in an emergency, commanded respect for everyone and had friends across the aisle. Once the head of Congress wore many hats in the last five decades of public life and 37 years in Parliament. He was awarded Bharat Ratn last year.
Interestingly, Mukherjee, nicknamed ‘Polt Dau’, was close to becoming prime minister in 2012. In his words, he understood that he could replace Manmohan Singh, who could be sent to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. But Destiny had other plans.
Pranab Mukherjee’s political journey began in West Bengal in the by-election held in Midnapore in 1969, when he was the electoral agent of VK Krishna Menon, who contested as an independent candidate. He drew the attention of Siddhartha Shankar Ray, who had recommended the seat of Rajya Sabha to Indira Gandhi. Mukherjee entered the Rajya Sabha at the age of 35. In addition to serving two terms as Finance Minister, Mukherjee was appointed Commerce Minister in 1993 and is known for his business liberalization.