JOURNEY TOWARDS RASHTRAPATI BHAVAN
In Mirati village of the undivided Bengal, the 13th President of India, Shri Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, was born on December 11, 1935. Shri KamadaKinkar Mukherjee, his father, represented the Congress Party in the Legislative Council of West Bengal and also worked for India’s Independence. Shri Pranab Mukherjee completed his degrees in Law, Political Science, and History from the University of Calcutta in 1963. He worked as a Clerk and also as a Political Science professor in West Bengal. Before entering into Politics, he also worked as a Journalist.
He entered into Politics in 1969, when a party name Bengal Congress (he was a founding member of this party) awarded him a ticket, and he got elected to the Rajya Sabha for the first time. His political journey has started now and officials started noticing his work and loyalty towards the government. Because of his work, he got elected four times to the Rajya Sabha in 1975, 1981, 1993, and 1999. In his tenure under the Indira Gandhi government, he worked for various offices, he was the Commerce Minister of India in 1980. He contested the 1980 Lok Sabha Elections and lost miserably and Indira Gandhi ji was not so happy with Pranab ji’s decision to contest elections. Then later in 1982, he was appointed as the Finance Minister of India and represented the 1982-83 annual budget. In 1984, a survey ‘Euromoney’ rated him as the best finance minister in the world.
After Indira Gandhi ji’s assassination in 1984, Rajiv Gandhi ji tried to side-line Pranab ji because he was considered a potential candidate for the Prime Minister’s post. This resulted in the formation of Pranab ji's own Rashtrapati Samajwadi Congress Party in 1986. Later in 1989, this party merged with Congress again. In 1991, he was appointed as the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission and Commerce Minister in 1993. In 1995, he served as the External Affairs Minister.
After contesting twice, he was elected to the Lok Sabha as the leader of the House in 2004, he won the seat from Jangipur, West Bengal. He was appointed as the Defence Minister for the first time. He began his second term as the External Affairs Minister in 2006, during his tenure till 2009, he tried to mobilize the opinion of other countries against Pakistan after the brutal Terrorist attacks of 2008. In 2009, he began his second term as the Finance Minister of India and named as the ‘Finance Minister of the Year’ by a London newspaper ‘Emerging Markets’. He served as the Finance minister till 2012.
In 2007, he was proposed as a possible presidential candidate but there was no one to replace him in the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government so his name was taken back. In 2012, UPA nominated his name for the presidential elections against Mr. P.A. Sangama (candidate nominated by National Democratic Alliance) and Mr. Mukherjee won the elections and took oath as the 13th President of India on 25th July 2012.
Shri Pranab Kumar Mukherjee (84) lost his life on 31st August but his five decades-long Political Career will always remain an inspiration.
Source - Hindustan Times & Wikipedia
Picture - The Indian Express