Leaders across party lines condole Mukherjee's death
New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders across the political spectrum on Monday condoled the demise of former president Pranab Mukherjee, hailing him as a scholar par excellence who served the nation with diligence.
Mukherjee died on Monday in an army hospital here, his son Abhijit said. He was 84.
He was admitted to hospital on August 10 and a health bulletin this morning said he was in a deep coma and on ventilator support.
As condolences poured in for India's 13th president, who served as the country's first citizen from 2012 to 2017, Kovind described Mukherjee's demise as the passing of an era.
"A colossus in public life, he served Mother India with the spirit of a sage. The nation mourns losing one of its worthiest sons. Condolences to his family, friends and all citizens," he said.
Naidu said the country has lost an elder statesman in his death.
"He rose from humble beginnings to occupy the country's highest constitutional position through hard work, discipline and dedication," he said.
Modi said Mukherjee has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of the nation.
"A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society," Modi said.
"During his political career that spanned decades, Shri Pranab Mukherjee made long-lasting contributions in key economic and strategic ministries. He was an outstanding Parliamentarian, always well-prepared, extremely articulate as well as witty," he said.
Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Harsh Vardhan and Prakash Javadekar, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, among others, condoled Mukherjee's demise and paid rich tributes to him.
Shah expressed deep anguish over Mukherjee's death, saying his demise has left a huge void in the Indian
Information and Broadcasting Minister Javadekar said the country has lost one of its finest sons. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Mukherjee epitomised simplicity, honesty and strength of character.
Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said Mukherjee's "warmth, dedication and vision has left an indelible mark".
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also expressed deep anguish over Mukherjee's demise and called his erudition and wisdom "really
BJP chief J P Nadda said Mukherjee has served the country in many roles with diligence and