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'Served India with utmost dedication': Sonia Gandhi on Pranab Mukherjee

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New Delhi, Aug 31: Expressing great shock over the demise of former President Pranab Mukherjee, party president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said she learnt a lot from the Congress veteran, who brought distinction to every post he held.

Mukherjee, 84, died in an army hospital here on Monday.

Sonia Gandhi

In her condolence letter to Sharmistha Mukherjee, the daughter of the former president, the Congress chief said his life over the past five decades mirrored 50 years of India's history.

"He brought distinction to every post he held. He established a genuine rapport with colleagues across the political spectrum, and he served our country with the utmost dedication," Gandhi said.

She further said,"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."

Pranab Mukherjee had suffered head injury in an accident in 2007Pranab Mukherjee had suffered head injury in an accident in 2007

"His life over the past 50 years mirrored 50 years of the history of India, for he played a crucial role both in shaping the course of events as well as actively participating in them, whether as a cabinet minister, parliamentarian or President of India," Gandhi said in her message.

Mukherjee had been critically ill for some days, it still comes as a great shock to learn of his passing, the Congress chief said.

Noting that she personally had so many warm memories of her working with him, she said, "I learnt so much from him. The Congress party deeply mourns his loss and will always honour his memory."

Sending her condolences to Sharmistha, her brother and other family members, Gandhi said "Pranab Da has now been released from his suffering. May his soul rest in peace".

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

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