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'Scholar par excellence’: PM Modi condoles Pranab Mukherjee's death

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New Delhi, Aug 31: Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee, saying he had been "blessed" to receive support and guidance from Mukherjee when he first became Prime Minister in 2014 and was "new to Delhi".

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"India grieves the passing away of Bharat Ratna Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation. A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society," wrote Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"I was new to Delhi in 2014. From Day 1, I was blessed to have the guidance, support and blessings of Shri Pranab Mukherjee. I will always cherish my interactions with him. Condolences to his family, friends, admirers and supporters across India. Om Shanti," the Prime Minister said in a series of four tweets.

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"During his political career that spanned decades, Shri Pranab Mukherjee made long-lasting contributions in key economic and strategic ministries. He was an outstanding Parliamentarian, always well-prepared, extremely articulate as well as witty," he added.

"As India's President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee made Rashtrapati Bhavan even more accessible to common citizens. He made the President's house a centre of learning, innovation, culture, science and literature. His wise counsel on key policy matters will never be forgotten by me," PM Modi tweeted.

President Kovind expressed his condolences after former President Pranab Mukherjee passed away. "Sad to hear that former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee is no more. His demise is passing of an era. A colossus in public life, he served Mother India with the spirit of a sage. The nation mourns losing one of its worthiest sons. Condolences to his family, friends & all citizens."

"Pranab Da's life will always be cherished for his impeccable service and indelible contribution to our motherland. His demise has left a huge void in Indian polity. My sincerest condolences are with his family and followers on this irreparable loss. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti," said Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, expressing his condolences.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed grief over Mukherjee's demise. In a tweet, Singh said, "His demise is a personal loss. He had tremendous knowledge of India's history, diplomacy, public policy and also defence."

Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Amit Shah, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Arjun Munda, Mansukh Mandaviya, Ram Vilas Paswan, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Nirmala Sitharaman, Pralhad Joshi, Sadananda Gowda, Dharmendra Pradhan, Ramesh Pokhriyal, Giriraj Singh, Jitendra Singh, Smriti Irani, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Dharmendra Pradhan, Thawarchand Gehlot, and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also expressed their shock at and said India lost a great leader with Mukherjee's demise.

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