The United States on Tuesday expressed grief and sorrow over the demise of former President Pranab Mukherjee who breathed his last at a hospital in Delhi.
"In a distinguished career spanning more than half a century, President Mukherjee worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of India as a parliamentarian, cabinet minister, and as President of the world’s largest democracy. His visionary leadership helped drive India's rise as a global power and paved the way for a stronger US-India partnership," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
Mukherjee, who had tested positive for coronavirus and had been in coma after a brain surgery earlier this month, passed away on Monday evening at the Army's Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi. He was 84. He was cremated with full state honours at the Lodhi road electric crematorium in the national capital on Tuesday afternoon.
The long-time Congress leader and seven-time parliamentarian had tested positive for Covid-19 at the time of his admission and was being treated for a lung infection. He suffered a septic shock on Sunday due to it. Doctors said he died of a cardiac arrest.
The US government said that Mukherjee's many accomplishments resulted in a more prosperous and secure India. "As Minister of External Affairs and Defense, he championed the landmark US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement, a foundation of the US-India strategic partnership, and signed the Defense Framework Agreement to enable the US-India security relationship we witness today. Few Indian statesman played a more vital role in preparing India for the mantle of global leadership in the 21st century," it added.
The statement further said that on behalf of the American people, they extend their deepest condolences to the people of India and to President Mukherjee's family during this time of mourning.
Mukherjee is survived by two sons and a daughter. His son Abhijit Mukherjee was the first to break the news of the death of the veteran politician.