New Delhi: Former President Pranab Mukherjee expressed gratitude to the people of India after he was conferred with the highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna on Friday. Mukherjee took to Twitter an said: “It is with a deep sense of humility and gratitude to the people of India that I accept this great honour Bharat Ratna bestowed upon me. I have always said and I repeat, that I have got more from the people of our great country than I have given to them.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Pranab Mukherjee for leaving a strong imprint on the nation’s growth trajectory through his selfless work. Modi added, “India is proud of each and every awardee, for the rich contributions towards various fields. They have made our nation and the world a better place!”

Congress President Rahul Gandhi also extended felicitations on his official Twitter account. Gandhi tweeted: “Congratulations to Pranab Da on being awarded the Bharat Ratna! The Congress Party takes great pride in the fact that the immense contribution to public service & nation building of one of our own, has been recognised & honoured.”

Political leaders in West Bengal also congratulated Mukherjee on being conferred the Bharat Ratna. “It is a matter of great pride for all of us that our very own Pranab Mukherjee is getting the Bharat Ratna. He is one of the most distinguished politicians in the country,” former state Congress chief and Member of Parliament Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.

The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the state and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) too congratulated Mukherjee. “His contribution to Indian politics has been immense. He is not only a great son of India but also a great human being,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.

Late Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika and late social activist Nanaji Deshmukh were also declared as the awardees of the prestigious Bharat Ratna, posthumously in a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.