NEW DELHI: In a long political career spanning five decades, former President Pranab Mukherjee saw many ups and downs.
Here is a look at five notable moments in his political journey:
Joining Congress and becoming India’s youngest finance minister
His debut in politics was in 1969 when he was working as an agent for the by-election campaign of VK Krishna Menon, who was contesting as an independent candidate from Midnapore, West Bengal. It was then that Indira Gandhi spotted him. Impressed with his political acumen, Gandhi brought Mukherjee into the Congress.
Mukherjee became India’s youngest finance minister of India in 1982 at the age of 47.
Pranab Mukherjee: Live Updates
Portfolios during his career: Mukherjee started his parliamentary journey through the Rajya Sabha in 1969. Mukherjee was appointed as the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission in 1991. After winning his first Lok Sabha election in 2004 from Jangipur in West Bengal, Mukherjee went on to head three crucial ministries — external affairs, defence and finance — and became the first occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan to have this distinction.

Exit from Congress party
After the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984, Mukherjee saw himself as the rightful heir to the post of Congress president which instead went to Rajiv Gandhi. Following a power struggle, Mukherjee formed his own political party called ‘Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress’ which eventually merged with the Congress in 1989.

India’s 13 President
Mukherjee was sworn in as India’s 13th President on July 25, 2012 and served till July 25, 2017. He retired from politics the same year citing health conditions.
Mukherjee as president turned down several mercy petitions. Yakub Menon, Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru were hanged during his presidency.

Attending RSS event:
In June 2018, Mukherjee became the first former President of India to address a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) event. Mukherjee’s decision to attend the RSS event had triggered a major political slugfest with several Congress leaders criticising his decision.

Bharat Ratna
Mukherjee was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 2019 by incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind.
Watch Pranab Mukherjee: 10 things to know about the former President


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