'End of an era': Leaders from across political spectrum express grief over Pranab Mukherjee's demise

'End of an era': Leaders from across political spectrum express grief over Pranab Mukherjee's demise
Narendra Modi (L), Ram Nath Kovind (C), Pranab Mukherjee (Far Right)

President Ram Nath Kovind described his predecessor Pranab Mukherjee's demise on August 31 as the passing of an era.

Since Mukherjee's son Abhijit broke the news of the death of the veteran politician on Monday evening, condolences have been pouring in for India's 13th president, who served as the country's first citizen from 2012 to 2017.

“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 & all citizens, Kovind said on Twitter.

Expressing his condolences, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described him as a scholar par excellence and a towering statesman who was admired across the political spectrum.

"India grieves the passing away of Bharat Ratna Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation. A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society," Modi tweeted.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, "With great sadness, the nation receives the news of the unfortunate demise of our former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee."

"I join the country in paying homage to him. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family and friends,"

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday condoled the death saying the country has lost a statesman.

"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," the Vice President Secretariat tweeted quoting Naidu.

Mukherjee brought dignity and decorum to every post held by him during his long and distinguished public service, the vice president observed.

"My deepest condolences to the bereaved family members. Om Shanti," he said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Mukherjee's life will always be cherished for his impeccable service and indelible contribution to the motherland.

"Deeply anguished on the passing away of former President of India, Bharat Ratna Shri Pranab Mukherjee ji. He was a vastly experienced leader who served the nation with utmost devotion. Pranab da's distinguished career is a matter of great pride for the entire country," Shah tweeted.

"His demise has left a huge void in Indian polity. My sincerest condolences are with his family and followers on this irreparable loss. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti," the minister said.

BJP president JP Nadda said Mukherjee served the country with diligence and attested to how he was admired across party lines.

"Saddened by the demise of former President and statesman Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He has served the Country in many roles with diligence and determination. He is widely admired across the parties for his intellect and perseverance. My condolences to his family and followers," Nadda said on Twitter.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed deep sorrow too and said with Mukherjee's demise "an era has come to an end". She recollected her long association with Mukherjee and extended her condolence to his son and daughter.

"It is with deep sorrow I write this. Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee has left us. An era has ended. For decades he was a father figure. From my first win as MP, to being my senior Cabinet colleague, to his becoming President while I was CM," Banerjee said in a statement released from the state secretariat.

"So many memories. A visit to Delhi without Pranabda is unimaginable. He is a legend in all subjects from politics to economics. Will be forever grateful. Shall miss him immensely. My condolences to Abhijit & Sharmistha," she added.

The Left parties too have expressed grief over the passing away of former President Pranab Mukherjee, recalling that he maintained cordial relations with leaders from across party lines and often played the role of interlocutor for the governments he represented.

The CPI(M) in a statement said Mukherjee was one of India's leading political figures who contributed in various capacities as an elected member of parliament and served as senior minister in many governments for decades, before being finally elected as the President of India

CPI general secretary D Raja offered his condolences to the family and said Mujhkerjee will be remembered for serving the people of the country in every post that he held.

The CPI offers its solemn homage to an outstanding politician and statesman of this country. He held different positions during his long and illustrious career, but in each, he served the people of this country," Raja said.

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