New Delhi: Former President Pranab Mukherjee will be conferred with Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour. Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika and social activist Nanaji Deshmukh will also be felicitated, posthumously.
“The President has been pleased to award Bharat Ratna to the following: 1.Shri Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously) 2.Dr Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously) 3.Shri Pranab Mukherjee,” a press communique from the Rashtrapati Bhawan said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted three consecutive tweets to laud the contributions of the three eminent personalities.
“Pranab Da is an outstanding statesman of our times. He has served the nation selflessly and tirelessly for decades, leaving a strong imprint on the nation’s growth trajectory. His wisdom and intellect have few parallels. Delighted that he has been conferred the Bharat Ratna,” the PM tweeted.
Pranab Mukherjee, 83, served as the President of India from 2012 to 2017. A senior Congress leader, he held several ministerial portfolios and was the finance minister from 2009-2012. He was one of her trusted lieutenants of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Known for his flawless baritone, Bhupen Hazarika was synonymous with the Assamese identity. He had earlier been honoured with Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Dada Saheb Phalke award, among others. He had left for the heavenly abode in 2011.
A Sangh Parivar veteran, Deshmukh was founder member of the Janata Party and one of the senior-most members of the Bharatiya Janata Party. A social activist, he played an important role in carrying out social restructuring programme in over 500 villages of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. He passed away in 2010 at the age of 93.