Pranab Mukherjee, former President of India, passes away at 84

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Former India president Pranab Mukherjee, a veteran powerbroker once described in leaked U.S. diplomatic cables as "the ultimate Congress Party fixer", died Monday at the age of 84, his family said.

"Former President Pranab Mukherjee underwent a successful brain surgery for removal of a clot at the Army's R&R hospital", said the sources.

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.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressed shock at the demise of former President Pranab Mukherjee and said she had many warm memories of working with him and had learnt a lot from him.

"He has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation", Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter, posting a picture of him touching Mukherjee's feet in reverence.

The Congress also posted a tribute to Mukherjee. Before that, he had been minister of finance, defence and foreign affairs for three separate prime ministers. Condolences to his family, friends, admirers and supporters across India.

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Inspired by his father's contribution to the national movement, Mr Mukherjee in 1969 plunged into full time public life following his election to the Upper House of the Parliament.

He served as foreign, defense, commerce, and finance ministers under various administrations for nearly five decades, and as a member of the Indian Parliament seven times.

The news of the former President's death was shared by his son Abhijit on social media.

Pranab Mukherjee served as the External Affairs Minister of India in 1995.

He said that in the demise of Mukherjee, Nepal has lost a great friend. An era has ended. From West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and DMK chief MK Stalin to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Union minister Piyush Goyal, leaders of every hue and ideological inclination prayed for his health. "Heartfelt condolences to the government and people of India as well as the bereaved family members", Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said in a series of tweets.

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