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Nanaji Deshmukh, Pranab Mukherjee and Bhupen Hazarika awarded Bharat Ratna

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New Delhi, Jan 25: The Rashtrapati Bhavan announced on Friday, 25 January that President Ram Nath Kovind had conferred the Bharat Ratna award to Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously), Dr Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously), and former President Dr Pranab Mukherjee.

Pranab Mukherjee

In an official statement, the government said Deshmukh and Hazarika were conferred the award posthumously.

Mukherjee was President between 2012 and 2017.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Mukherjee is an "outstanding statesman of our times". "He has served the nation selflessly and tirelessly for decades, leaving a strong imprint on the nation's growth trajectory," Modi said on Twitter. "His wisdom and intellect have few parallels. Delighted that he has been conferred the Bharat Ratna."

The prime minister said Hazarika's songs radiates the message of justice, harmony and brotherhood. Hazarika popularised India's music traditions globally, he added.

"Nanaji Deshmukh's stellar contribution towards rural development showed the way for a new paradigm of empowering those living in our villages. He personifies humility, compassion and service to the downtrodden. He is a Bharat Ratna in the truest sense!" he wrote about Deshmukh.

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