December 7, 2019 | 7:07 AM IST
Bharat Ratna

Ex-president Pranab Mukherjee honoured with Bharat Ratna; Gandhi family misses the ceremony

Former President Pranab Mukherjee was conferred with country’s highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna at the magnificent Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday. The 83-year-old veteran politician received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind in a glittering function attended by Vice President M Venkaikah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Cabinet Ministers and more. 

The event was also attended by senior Congress leaders Anand Sharma, Ahmed Patel, Bhupender Singh Hooda, Janardan Dwivedi, RPN Singh, Sushmita Dev and Shashi Tharoor. 

Reciprocating his feelings, Mukherjee thanked the President for the honour and later tweeted, “My heartfelt gratitude to Rashtrapatiji and the people of our nation for bestowing the Bharat Ratna on me. This honour is more for the people of our country from whom I have received much more than I have been able to give.” 

Meanwhile, the Gandhi family and former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh were not present at the grand event. 

The Congress later tweeted congratulatory message stating, “We congratulate Former President @CitiznMukherjee for receiving the Bharat Ratna. He worked tirelessly across multiple decades to serve the people of India in multiple roles including that as Union Minister in several Congress Govts.” 

Sources close to the Congress leaders said that probably the Gandhi family chose to stay away from the event after Mukherjee visited the RSS headquarters in Nagpur to deliver a lecture in 2018.

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