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Pranab Mukherjee's rise to the Rashtrapati Bhavan
Rightly described by Indira Gandhi as the 'man for all seasons,' Pranab Mukherjee has been elected for the country's top position. In July 1969, she gave him a seat in Rajya Sabha and since then, Mukherjee never looked back and kept on retaining important posts and portfolios.

PRANAB MUKHERJEE - a veteran Congress leader, who has been active in Indian politics for more than four decades, has been elected as the 13th president of India. One of the most reputed Finance Minister, a powerful External Affairs Minister and a strong Defence Minister, Mukherjee defeated his rival and NDA candidate P. A. Sangma by a huge margin, according to PTI.

Elections for the counyty’s top post were held on July 19. Mukherjee, who is also popular as Dada will take oath of office on Wednesday, July 25 in the presence of the Chief Justice of India at the British-era presidential mansion sitting majestically atop Raisina Hill.

He is the third MP president after Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed and Giani Zail Singhto be nominated for Raisina Hill. Let s take a look at his profile.

Early Life

Pranab Mukherjee was born on December 11th, 1935 to a Bengali Brahmin family of Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee and Rajlakshmi Mukherjee in a small village, Mirati of Birbhum District in West Bengal. His father Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee was the member of the Indian National Congress and was active and reputed freedom fighter. He was imprisoned for more than 10 years during the Indian independence movement . After independence Pranab Mukherjee's father became a member of West Bengal Legislative Council (WBLC) from 1952 to 1964.

Education

The 13th President of the country, Pranab Mukherjee holds double M.A. degree in History and Political Science and also a degree in law from the University of Calcutta. He attended the Suri Vidyasagar College, Suri (Birbhum). In 2011, Pranab Da was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by the University of Wolverhampton.

Personal Life

On July 13, 1957, Pranab Mukherjee got married to Suvra Mukherjee. The couple has two sons Abhijit and Indrajit and a daughter Sharmistha. Their eldest son Abhijit Mukherjee, is a member of the West Bengal legislative assembly and daughter Sharmistha is a well-known exponent of the classical dance form Kathak.

Professional Career

Pranab Mukherjee began his career in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in the office of Deputy AG (Post and Telegraph) as clerk and then became a college teacher and journalist. He was also associated with Social and Cultural Activities including as President, Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan, 1995-2001 and Rabindra Bharati Society; Former Chairman Nikhil Bharat Sahitya Sammelan; Council of Indian Statistical Institute 2006 - 20 June 2012; and Planning Board, Asiatic Society, Kolkata, 1984-1986, 1992-1996 and 2004-2009. Dada was former trustee of Bangiya Sahitya Parishad from 1984-1990; and Bidhan Memorial Trust, Kolkata.

Political Career (1969-1984)

Pranab Mukherjee joined active polities by joining the Bangla Congress in 1966, and soon switched to the Congress party in 1969. Former Prime Minister and Congress President Indira Gandhi gave Pranab Mukherjee a seat in the upper house of the parliament, Rajya Sabha from the Congress party in July 1969. Once Indira Gandhi described him as "man for all seasons." On her cabinet Pranab Mukherjee became Deputy Minister of Industrial Development in February 1973. When Indira Gandhi came back into the power in January 1980, Dada became Cabinet Minister of Commerce and Steel & Mines. In 1982 he was promoted to Finance Minister and he held the post till December 1984. From 1980 to 1985, he was Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha. In the absence of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi he presided over the cabinet meetings.

(1985-1996)?Pranab Mukherjee's relation was not good with Rajiv Gandhi. During his tenure he remained out in the cold for a long time. In 1986, he was expelled from the Congress party then he floated the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress. His party didn't perform well in West Bengal assembly elections and in 1989 merged it with Congress party after settlement with Rajiv Gandhi.

In 1991 when Congress came back into power after one and half years and P. V. Narasimha Rao became the Prime Minister, Pranab Mukherjee was appointed as Deputy Chairperson of the Planning Commission. In January 1993 he became Cabinet Minister of Commerce and in February 1995 became Minister of External Affairs in the P. V. Narasimha Rao's cabinet.

(1996-2012) In 1996 Congress again was ousted from the power. This time Congress was sulking. There was not a single mass leader in the party. Because of his efforts Sonia Gandhi entered into the national politics and took charge of the oldest political party of the country. Sonia Gandhi made Dada General Secretary of the AICC in 1998-99 and in 2000 he was made President of the West Bengal Congress and held the position until 2010, when he resigned.

When Congress came back in power after long eight years in 2004, Pranab Mukherjee served as the Minister of Defence from 2004 to 2006 and again served as the Minister of External Affairs from 2006 to 2009 in the government of Manmohan Singh. After 2009 general election Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appointed him the Finance Minister and he worked at this capacity till June 26' 2012, the day he retired from the active politics.

Since 2004 Pranab Da was the Leader of the House in Lok Sabha. He also headed the Congress Parliamentary Party and the Congress Legislative Party. He was also heading the Groups of Ministers (GoM) and Empowered Groups of Ministers (EgoMs). He also held the position of Chairman, Campaign Committee of AICC for conducting National Elections to Parliament in 1984, 1991, 1996 and 1998. From June 1999 till June 2012 he was the Chairman of the Central Election Coordination Committee of party.

Awards and Distinctions

In 2008, Pranab Mukherjee was honored with the second highest civilian award of India, Padma Vibhushan. Earlier in 1984 according to the survey of Euro Money, journal published from New York, he was rated as one of the best five Finance Ministers of the world. He was also conferred Outstanding Parliamentarian award by the Indian Parliamentary Group for 1997. Emerging Markets, the London based magazine has named Pranab Mukherjee as 'Finance Minister of the Year for Asia 2010'.

Others

Since 1969 to 2004 Pranab Mukherjee has been elected every time for Rajya Sabha except 1987. In the 2004 Parliamentary election he won from Jangipur constituency for the first time. In 1984 he was the Chairman of Group 24 (a Ministerial group attached to IMF and World Bank) and in May 1995 and November 1995 presided over SAARC Council of Ministers Conference. Pranab Mukherjee is interested in reading, gardening and Rabindra Sangeet. Every year he celebrates the annual festival Durga Puja at his ancestral home in Mirati village in Birbhum district. He is also the author of a book, Emerging Dimensions of Indian Economy.

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