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Pranab Mukherjee receives Bharat Ratna

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Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee, singer Bhupen Hazarika and Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh have been conferred Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India. President Ram Nath Kovind gave the award during an event at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday. Hazarika and Deshmukh have been given the honour posthumously.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, several Union Cabinet ministers, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were in audience during the function held at the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan. Hazarika’s son Tej Hazarika received the award on behalf of his father, whereas Virendrajeet Singh, Chairman of Deendayal Research Institute, accepted the honour on behalf of Deshmukh.

The government announced the decision to confer the Bharat Ratna upon Mukherjee, Deshmukh and Hazarika in January earlier this year. Bharat Ratna has been conferred after a gap of four years. In 2015, the Modi government has given the honour to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Banaras Hindu University founde Madan Mohan Malviya.

Fondly known as ‘Pranab Da’, Mukherjee became the fifth president to receive Bharat Ratna. Mukherjee (83), known as the quintessential ‘Man Friday’ of the Congress, was the president between 2012 and 2017. Before him, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Rajendra Prasad, Zakir Hussain and VV Giri were also awarded the nation’s highest civilian honour.

Mukherjee became India’s youngest finance minister in 1982 at the age of 47. In the two UPA governments from 2004, he went on to head three crucial ministries — external affairs, defence and finance — and became the first occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan to have this distinction.

Source : businesstoday

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