New Delhi:1/9/20: Nation bid a tearful adieu to former President and Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee. His last rites were performed with full military honour at the Lodhi Road crematorium in New Delhi this afternoon amid strict adherence to social distancing norms. The former President died yesterday, 22 days after being admitted to the Army’s Research and Referral hospital to undergo a surgical procedure to remove a brain clot from which he never recovered. He had also tested COVID-19 positive during his treatment in the hospital.
Mukherjee’s mortal remains were brought to his residence at 10, Rajaji Marg earlier today morning. President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BJP president JP Nadda, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Harsh Vardhan, CPI leader D Raja, Chiefs of the three services and a host of dignitaries paid their tribute.
Prime Minister in a tweet said Pranab Mukherjee would be remembered by generations for his efforts towards India’s progress. The former President was taken for the last rites in a hearse van instead of the gun carriage with the pall-bearers wearing personal protection equipment kits as per the COVID-19 protocol. The Union Cabinet condoled the sad demise of Pranab Mukherjee. The Cabinet also observed silence for two minutes in memory of the former President. Cabinet resolution said, in his passing away, the country has lost a distinguished leader and an outstanding parliamentarian. The government had announced a seven-day state mourning as a mark of respect to the former president. A seven-time parliamentarian and recipient of Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, he was one of the most admired and respected political figures.