'On personal level…': PM Modi remembers Pranab Mukherjee on birth anniversary | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

'On personal level…': PM Modi remembers Pranab Mukherjee on ex-president's birth anniversary

Dec 11, 2023 01:47 PM IST

PM Modi and former president Mukherjee forged a unique connection, transcending their party differences and ideological contrasts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday offered homage to the former president Pranab Mukherjee on his birth anniversary, hailing the Congress veteran's “intellectual depth that profoundly shaped” India.

File Photo: Narendra Modi with Pranab Mukherjee (X/NarendraModi)
File Photo: Narendra Modi with Pranab Mukherjee (X/NarendraModi)

“On his birth anniversary, paying homage to Shri Pranab Mukherjee, whose statesmanship and intellectual depth profoundly shaped our nation's course,” Modi said in a post on X.

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Mukherjee served as India's finance minister and subsequently became minister for external affairs, defence, finance and commerce. He was India's 13th President (2012 to 2017). He administered oath to Modi as he began his first term as prime minister.

Mukherjee died on August 31, 2020, at the age of 84.

PM Modi added that the former union minister’s insights and leadership were invaluable, and “on a personal level, our interactions were always enriching.”

PM Modi and former president Mukherjee were known to share special bond even though coming from rival parties with different ideologies.

Recently, his daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee in her book "In Pranab, My Father: A Daughter Remembers", wrote about the former president’s equations with PM Modi.

Sharmistha talks about how Mukherjee and Modi had a deep respect for each other. The respect started before Modi became prime minister and grew as they interacted through their official roles, she writes.

Also read: What Pranab Mukherjee thought about Rahul Gandhi: Sharmishtha's book reveals

Sharmistha, a former Congress spokesperson who quit politics in 2021, mentioned that despite Modi criticising the Congress, he had a soft spot for Mukherjee, which intrigued her father. Despite their different political views, Mukherjee saw similarities between Modi and his mentor, Indira Gandhi. Sharmistha shares instances of Modi personally expressing his respect by touching Pranab's feet during their occasional meetings in Delhi.

“… Pranab always spoke kindly to him, and Modi would always show respect by touching his feet,” says the book published by Rupa Publications, The Indian Express reported.

The Congress, too, through its social media handle paid tribute to Mukherjee. “For his dedication and exemplary service to the nation—beginning with the Bangla Congress to ultimately holding India's highest office—we honour his unparalleled legacy,” the grand old party’s X post said.

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