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Politics & War

Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee





  • Pranab Mukherjee, (born December 11, 1935, Mirati, Bengal [now in West Bengal]. His father, Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee was active in the Indian independence movement and was a member of West Bengal Legislative Council between 1952 and 1964 as a representative of the Indian National Congress and was the member of AICC. His mother was Rajlakshmi Mukherjee.
  • He attended the Suri Vidyasagar College in Suri (Birbhum), then affiliated to University of Calcutta.He subsequently earned MA degree in Political Science&History and LL.B. degree; both from University of Calcutta;Kolkata


  • In 1963 he accepted a teaching position at a small college near Calcutta (now Kolkata) that was associated with the university. He also became editor of a Bengalilanguage monthly periodical and, later, worked for a weekly publication.
  • Mukherjee first ran for public office in 1969, when he won a seat in the Rajya Sabha (upper house) of the Indian parliament as a member of the Bangla Congress, which soon merged with the Congress Party.
  • He served an additional four terms, although he left that chamber in 2004 and contested and won a seat in the Lok Sabha (lower house). He served there until mid2012, when he ran for president of India.


  • He joined Congress in 1969. Mukherjee became a Gandhi loyalist and is often described as his “man for all seasons”.
  • Mukherjee’s rise was rapid in the early phase of his career and he was appointed Union Deputy Minister of Industrial Development in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet in 1973.
  • Under Indira Gandhi tutelage, he began in 1973 to fill administrative positions of increasing responsibility in the cabinet, and in 1982 he was named to the important post of minister of finance till 1984.


  • Mukherjee was sidelined from the INC following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Although Mukherjee was much more experienced in politics than Indira’s son, Rajiv Gandhi, it was Rajiv who gained control. Mukherjee lost his position in the cabinet and was sent to manage the regional West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee.
  • In 1986, Mukherjee founded another party, the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress (RSC), in West Bengal. The RSC and INC merged three years later after reaching a compromise with Rajiv Gandhi


  • Mukherjee’s political career revived following Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 when P. V. Narasimha Rao chose to appoint him as deputy chairman of the Indian planning commission and subsequently as a union cabinet minister. Mukherjee served as External Affairs Minister for the first time from 1995 to 1996 in Rao’s cabinet.
  • He was made General Secretary of the AICC in 1998– 99 after Sonia Gandhi became Congress President. Mukherjee was made President of the West Bengal Congress in 2000 and held the position until his resignation in 2010.


  • Mukherjee became Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha in 2004. Mukherjee held many important posts in the Manmohan Singh government. He had the distinction of being the Minister for various high-profile Ministries including Defence, Finance, and External Affairs.
  • In 2010 Mukherjee was awarded “Finance Minister of the Year for Asia” by Emerging Markets. The Banker also recognised him as “Finance Minister of the Year.”


  • Mukherjee was nominated as the presidential candidate of the United Progressive Alliance on 15 June 2012 after considerable political intrigue.
  • As many as 81 other candidates had filed nominations but the Election Commission rejected all except that of P. A. Sangma, the nominee of the National Democratic Alliance(NDA).
  • Mukherjee was sworn-in by the Chief Justice of Indian on 25 July 2012, becoming the first Bengali to hold the post of President of India