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Outstanding Statesman of Our Times: PM Modi Pays Tribute to ‘Mentor’ Pranab on Getting Bharat Ratna

The two seasoned politicians come from two starkly different political backgrounds but they maintained an extremely cordial relationship during the period that Mukherjee was the president.

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Updated:January 25, 2019, 11:58 PM IST
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Outstanding Statesman of Our Times: PM Modi Pays Tribute to ‘Mentor’ Pranab on Getting Bharat Ratna
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with former President Pranab Mukherjee. (Virendra Singh Gosain via Getty Images)
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New Delhi: It was only two years ago when PM Narendra Modi wrote a moving letter to outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee and referred to him as a "father figure" and "mentor", despite the fact that Pranab Mukherjee has been a veteran Congressman.

Pranab too shared the letter on social media, saying it "touched my heart".

Cut to present, the now former president has been honoured with Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian honour, by the current President.

Taking to Twitter, PM Modi once again paid rich tribute to Pranab, calling him the "outstanding statesman of our times".

Pranab too accepted the award with "deep sense of humility and gratitude to the people of India".

In 2018, there was resentment among Congress leaders over Mukherjee’s decision to attend an RSS function at Nagpur.

Senior Congress leaders like Jairam Ramesh, Ramesh Chennithala and CK Jaffer Sharief wrote letters to Mukherjee asking him to reconsider his decision.

Mukherjee, however, went ahead and attended the event.

In his previous letter to Pranab, PM Modi talked about how ‘Pranab Da’ had been a guiding force for him in the hot seat of power. “Three years ago, I came to New Delhi as an outsider. The task before me was huge and challenging. In these times, you have always been a father figure and a mentor to me. Your wisdom, guidance and personal warmth have given me greater confidence and strength,” wrote the PM then.

The two seasoned politicians come from two starkly different political backgrounds but they maintained an extremely cordial relationship during the period that Mukherjee was the president.

The PM ended the letter with, “Your legacy will continue to guide us. Rashtrapati ji, it has been an honour to work with you, as your Prime Minister!”

The award this evening confirms that Mukherjee’s legacy will live on for generations to come. ​
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