Pranab Kumar Mukherjee (born 11 December 1935) is an Indian politician who worked as the 13th President of India from 2012 until 2017. In a political career covering six decades, Mukherjee was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Government of India. Before his election as President, Mukherjee was Union Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012 and the Congress party’s top troubleshooter.
Early life and family
Pranab Mukherjee was born on 11 December 1935 in a rural area called Mirati located in the Birbhum District of West Bengal (Bengal Province of the British Raj). He was the son of Shri Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee and Smt. Rajlakshmi Mukherjee. His father was a freedom fighter and later became a member of Indian National Congress and a member of All India Congress Committee. Pranab Mukherjee studied in Suri Vidyasagar College in the Birbhum District of West Bengal. He accomplished his M.A. in History and Political Science and thereafter an LL.B degree from the University of Calcutta. On 13 July 1957, Pranab Mukherjee got married to Suvra Mukherjee, who was from Narail in Bangladesh and migrated at the age of 10 years to Kolkata. They blessed with a daughter and two sons.
Mukherjee’s first step in politics saw him positively campaigning for Shri V.K. Krishna Menon, an independent candidate during the 1969 Midnapore by-elections. Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, recognized his potential and inducted him as a representative of the Indian National Congress party. He was made a person of the Rajya Sabha in July 1969.
In July 1969 he was elected as a representative of the Rajya Sabha. From February 1973 to January 1974 Pranab was the Union Deputy Minister for Industrial Development. From January 1974 to October 1974 he was the Union Deputy Minister for Shipping & Transport.
From October 1974 to December 1975 Pranab was the Union Minister of State for Finance. In July 1975 he was elected as a representative of the Rajya Sabha for the second time. From December 1975 to March 1977 he was the Union Minister of State for Revenue and Banking. From 1978 to 1980 he represented the Congress party as the Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha.
From 27 January 1978 to 18 January 1986, and again from 10 August 1997 to 25 June 2012, he remained a member of the Congress Working Committee. From 1978 to 1979 he was the Treasurer of the All India Congress Committee and also Treasurer of Congress (I) in the Parliament. From 1978 to 1986 he was the Central Parliamentary Board’s member of the AICC.
From January 1980 to January 1982 he was the Union Minister of Steel & Mines and Commerce From 1980 to 1985 he was: Leader of the House of the Rajya Sabha, Member of Committee on Privileges in the Rajya Sabha Business Advisory Committee Member, Member of the Committee on Rules in the Rajya Sabha.
In August 1981 Pranab was elected as a member of Rajya Sabha for the third time.
From January 1982 to December 1984 Pranab was an additional charge of the Commerce & Supply Ministry.
During 1984, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999 Pranab was the Chairman of the Campaign Committee of the AICC for administering National Elections to Parliament.
In 1985 and from August 2000 to June 2010 Pranab was the President of Pradesh Congress Committee in West Bengal. From 1987 to 1989 he was the Chairman of AICC’s Economic Advisory Cell.
From June 1991 to May 1996 Pranab was the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. From 1993 to February 1995 he was the Union Cabinet Minister of Commerce.
In 1993 Pranab was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the fourth time.
From February 1995 to May 1996 Pranab was the Union Cabinet Minister of External Affairs.
From 1996 to 2004 Pranab was the Chief Whip of the Indian National Congress in the Rajya Sabha.
From 1996 to 1999 Pranab was the Member of the Consultative Committee on External Affairs.
In 1997 Pranab was the Departmentally related Parliamentary Standing Committee’s Chairman on Environment & Forest and on Science & Technology.
In 1999 Pranab was re-elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha for the fifth term.
On 28 June 1999, Pranab was the Chairman of AICC’s Central Election Coordination Committee.
From 1998 to 1999 Pranab was the General Secretary of the AICC.
From June 1998 to May 2004 Pranab was the Departmentally related Parliamentary Standing Committee’s Chairman on Home Affairs.
From 12 December 2001 to 25 June 2012 Pranab was the Central Election Committee’s member.
On 13 May Pranab was elected as a member of the 14th Lok Sabha.
From 23 May 2004 to 24 October 2006, Pranab was the Union Cabinet Minister of Defense.
From June 2004 to June 2012, Pranab was the Leader of the House of the Lok Sabha.
From 25 October 2006 to 23 May 2009, Pranab was the Union Cabinet Minister of External Affairs.
From 24 January 2009 to May 2009 Pranab was the Union Cabinet Minister of Finance.
On 20 May 2009, Pranab was elected as a member of the 15th Lok Sabha for the second time.
From 2009 to 26 June 2012 Pranab was the Union Cabinet Minister of Finance.
On 25 June he resigned from the Indian National Congress party, before contesting for the office of the President of India.