New Delhi: The Indian national flags at Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament were at half-mast as 7-day State mourning is being observed in the country following the demise of former President Pranab Mukherjee. Mukherjee (84) who was hospitalised for 21 days, died in the national capital on Monday. His son and parliamentarian Abhijeet Mukherjee took to Twitter and announced the demise of the veteran leader. Also Read - Coronavirus Creates Havoc: 3 MPs, 6 MLAs And Former President Among COVID's VVIP Victims
Later, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced a 7-day State Mourning in honour of former President. “As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, seven days state mourning will be observed throughout India from August 31 to September 6, both days inclusive. During the period of state mourning, the national flag will fly at half-mast on all buildings throughout India, where it is flown regularly and there will be no official entertainment,” the MHA said in an official release.
According to the reports, the mortal remains of the veteran leader will be kept at his official residence 10, Rajaji Marg, New Delhi around 9 am for dignitaries to pay their last respects. The mortal remains will “proceed in hearse van instead of normal gun carriage”, due to Covid-19 related protocols. His family had said that the funeral will be held at 2 PM on Tuesday at the Lodhi Road crematorium.
The former President of India, who tested positive for coronavirus, had been in coma after a brain surgery earlier this month.
Condoling the death of Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India is grieving at his demise, adding that he left an “indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation”. Calling Mukherjee a scholar par excellence, the Prime Minister said he was admired across the political spectrum.
“India grieves the passing away of Bharat Ratna Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation. A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
“During his political career that spanned decades, Pranab Mukherjee made long-lasting contributions in key economic and strategic ministries. He was an outstanding Parliamentarian, always well-prepared, extremely articulate as well as witty,” Modi said.
Union Home Minister and former BJP President Amit Shah as well as BJP’s present chief J.P. Nadda also condoled the death of Mukherjee. Shah said he is “deeply anguished” on the passing away of Mukherjee.
Saying that Mukherjee served the nation with “utmost devotion”, Shah tweeted, “Pranab Da’s life will always be cherished for his impeccable service and indelible contribution to our motherland. His demise has left a huge void in Indian polity. My sincerest condolences are with his family and followers on this irreparable loss. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.”
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also paid rich tribute to the late leader. “With great sadness, the nation receives the news of the unfortunate demise of our former President Pranab Mukherjee. I join the country in paying homage to him. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family and friends,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
The Congress, too, condoled the death of the former President. The party, on its official Twitter handle, said: “We are deeply pained by the passing of Pranab Mukherjee. Former President of India and one of the tallest leaders of the Congress party, Pranab Mukherjee will always be remembered for his integrity and compassion. Our prayers are with his family, followers and the nation.”
The former President’s daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee said that her father led a full and meaningful life in service of the nation and people. In a tweet, an emotional Sharmistha said, “I bow to all. Baba, taking the liberty to quote from your favourite poet to say your final goodbye to all. You have led a full, meaningful life in service of the nation, in service of our people. I feel blessed to have been born as your daughter.”