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 6 Decades of Pranab Mukherjee in Indian Politics, Signing off from duties

 6 Decades of Pranab Mukherjee in Indian Politics, Signing off from duties

13th President of India Pranab Mukherjee is leaving presidential duties very soon, he had been in office since 25 July 2012.

In a political career spanning six decades, Mukherjee was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Government of India. Prior to his election as President, Mukherjee was Union Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012, and the Congress party's top troubleshooter.

He played many roles in Indian Government as Defence Minister, Foreign Minister, Commerce Minister, Finance Minister, President of India.

  • Mukherjee's political career began in 1969, Indira Gandhi involved him in her party “ Indian national Congress”
  • Mukherjee was re-elected to the house in 1975, 1981, 1993 and 1999.
  • He became a Gandhi loyalist, and is often described as his "man for all seasons”.
  • Mukherjee emerged unscathed and rose through a series of cabinet posts to become Finance Minister from 1982 to 1984.
  • As Finance Minister, Mukherjee signed the letter appointing Manmohan Singh as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
  • In 1979, Mukherjee became Deputy Leader of the INC in the Rajya Sabha, and in 1980 he was appointed Leader of the House.
  • Mukherjee was sidelined from the INC following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Although Mukherjee was much more experienced in politics than Indira's son, Rajiv Gandhi, it was Rajiv who gained control. Mukherjee lost his position in the cabinet and was sent to manage the regional West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee
  • Mukherjee served as External Affairs Minister for the first time from 1995 to 1996 in Rao's cabinet
  • He was made General Secretary of the AICC in 1998–99 after Sonia Gandhi became Congress President. Mukherjee was made President of the West Bengal Congress in 2000 and held the position until his resignation in 2010. He had earlier held the position in 1985.
  • Mukherjee became Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha in 2004
  • It was speculated in 2004 that Mukherjee would be made Prime Minister of India after Sonia Gandhi unexpectedly declined the position However, Gandhi eventually nominated Manmohan Singh to become Prime Minister.
  • Mukherjee held many important posts in the Manmohan Singh government. He had the distinction of being the Minister for various high-profile Ministries including Defence, Finance, and External Affairs. Mukherjee also headed the Congress Parliamentary Party and the Congress Legislative Party which consists of all the Congress MPs and MLAs in the country apart from being Leader of the House in Lok Sabha and Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee President
  • Mukherjee ended his affiliation with the Indian National Congress and retired from active political life following his election as President in 2012.

Academic Honours

  • Honorary Doctor of Letters degree by the University of Wolverhampton in 2011.
  • Honorary D.Litt by the Assam University and Visvesvaraya Technological University in March 2012
  • Honorary Doctorate of Law by the President of Bangladeshand DU Chancellor Mohammad Zillur Rahman at the University of Dhaka on March 4, 2013.
  • Awarded Doctor of Civil Law by the University of Mauritius on March 13, 2013
  • Honorary Doctorate by the Istanbul University on 5 October 2013.
  • Honorary Doctorate from the University of Calcutta in on 28 November 2014.
  • Honorary Doctorate in political science by the University of Jordan on 11 October 2015.
  • Honorary Doctorate by the Al-Quds University of Ramallah, Palestine on 13 October 2015.
  • Honorary Doctorate by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel on 15 October 2015.
  • Honorary Doctorate by the Kathmandu University, Nepal on 3 November 2016.
  • Honorary Doctorate by the Goa University on 25 April 2017.

Offices held, Mukherjee's positions in chronological order:

  • Union Minister of Industrial Development 1973–1974
  • Union Minister of Shipping and Transport 1974
  • Minister of State for Finance 1974–1975
  • Union Minister of Revenue and Banking 1975–1977
  • Treasurer of the Congress Party 1978–79
  • Treasurer of the All India Congress Committee 1978–79
  • Leader of the House of the Rajya Sabha 1980–85
  • Union Minister of Commerce and Steel and Mines 1980–1982
  • Union Minister of Finance 1982–1984
  • Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund 1982–1985
  • Board of Governors of the World Bank 1982–1985
  • Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank 1982–1984
  • Board of Governors of the African Development Bank 1982–1985
  • Union Minister of Commerce and Supply 1984
  • Chairman of the Campaign Committee of Congress for conducting national elections to Parliament 1984, 1991, 1996 and 1998
  • Chairman of the Group of 24 (a ministerial group attached to IMF and World Bank) 1984 and 2009–2012
  • President of the State Unit of Congress Party in West Bengal 1985 and 2000–10
  • Chairman of the Economic Advisory Cell of the AICC 1987–1989
  • Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission 1991–1996
  • Union Minister of Commerce 1993–1995
  • Union Minister of External Affairs 1995–1996
  • President, SAARC Council of Ministers Conference 1995
  • General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee 1998–1999
  • Chairman of the Central Election Coordination Committee 1999–2012
  • Leader of the House of the Lok Sabha 2004–2012
  • Union Minister of Defence 2004–2006
  • Union Minister of External Affairs 2006–2009
  • Union Minister of Finance 2009–2012
  • President of India since 25 July 2012.

Books written by Pranab Mukherjee

  • Midterm Poll
  • Beyond Survival: Emerging Dimensions of Indian Economy - 1984
  • Off the Track - 1987
  • Saga of Struggle and Sacrifice - 1992
  • Challenges before the Nation - 1992
  • "A Centenary History of the Indian National Congress - Vol. V: Volume-V: 1964-1984" - 2011
  • "Congress and the Making of the Indian Nation" - 2011
  • "Thoughts and Reflections" - 2014
  • The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years- 2014
  • "Selected Speeches - Pranab Mukherjee" - 2015
  • The Turbulent Years: 1980 - 1996" - 2016

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