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Country has lost one of its greatest leaders: Congress pays rich tributes to Pranab Mukherjee

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New Delhi, Aug 31: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday expressed condolences on the demise of former president Pranab Mukherjee and said the country has lost one of its greatest leaders.

Singh said he had learned a lot from Mukherjee and depended on him a great deal for his wisdom, vast knowledge and experience of public affairs.

Manmohan Singh

"I have learned with profound sorrow about the passing away of Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Former President of India," he said.

"In his death, our country has lost one of its greatest leaders of Independent India. He and I worked very closely in the government of India and I depended on him a great deal for his wisdom, vast knowledge and experience of public affairs," Singh said in his condolence message.

In a letter to Mukherjee's daughter Sharmishtha, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said though her father had been critically ill for some days, it still comes as a great shock to learn of his passing.

"Pranab Da had been such an integral and prominent part of national life, the Congress party and the central government for over five decades, it is hard to imagine how we can do without his wisdom, experience, sage advice and deep understanding of so many subjects," Sonia Gandhi said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also condoled Mukherjee's demise.

"With great sadness, the nation receives the news of the unfortunate demise of our former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. I join the country in paying homage to him. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family and friends," he said.

Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra, Uttarakhand Governor Baby Rani Maurya and Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed anguish over Mukherjee's death and called him an "extraordinary leader".

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, "Received the sad news of demise of former president Shri Pranab Mukherjee. May the almighty receive the departed soul and give courage to his family and loved ones to bear this sorrow."

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath described Mukherjee's death as an "irreparable loss". UP Deputy CMs Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma and Legislative Assembly Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit also expressed grief over his demise.

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said Mukherjee always "gave ears to what others said irrespective of party affiliation".

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said apart from Mukherjee's services in the political arena to serving the society, he made significant contributions in the economic field as well.

Haryana Congress leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kumari Selja and state BJP president O P Dhankar also condoled Mukherjee's death.

Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot expressed grief over Mukherjee's demise and hailed his contribution.

Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Govind Singh Dotasra, former deputy CM Sachin Pilot, former CM Vasundhara Raje and other leaders also condoled Mukherjee's death.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati described Mukherjee as a "true gem" who was of a "kind nature".

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said Mukherjee was an esteemed colleague, fellow parliamentarian and a dear friend.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and former EC Ashok Lavasa expressed condolences over Mukherjee's death, saying the nation has lost an accomplished scholar.

The former president died at the Army's Research and Referral Hospital here following a 21-day battle with multiple ailments. He was 84.

Mukherjee is survived by his two sons and daughter.

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