YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 32 C MIN 26 C BJP govt attacked unorganized economy with demonetisation, GST, lockdown: Rahul NATION Rainfall may occur. Rs. 3 KOLKATA TUESDAY, 1 SEPTEMBER, 2020 PG-12, YEAR—7 ISSUE—110 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) WHEN AKSHAY KUMAR TRIED ELEPHANT POOP TEA! BOLLYWOOD & ETC Morning India Pranab Mukherjee, former President, dies at 84, centre declares 7-day mourning N EW DELHI : Former President Pranab Mukherjee passed away on Monday at the Army Hospital (Research and Referral) Hospital where he was admitted earlier this month and had undergone surgery for removal of a clot in his brain. His son and former MP Abhijit Mukherjee gave the information in a tweet. "With a Heavy Heart , this is to inform you that my father Shri PranabMukherjee has just passed away inspite of the best efforts of Doctors of RR Hospital & prayers ,duas & prarthanas from people throughout India ! I thank all of You," he said. He was admitted to the Army Hospital here on August 10 and after testing positive for COVID-19. A leader of vast experience and knowledge who strived for consensus in the polity and left an imprint on India's modern history, Pranab Mukherjee was India's 13th President and was conferred its highest civilian honour. The 84-year old veteran Congressman who played a crucial role in the functioning of the UPA governments till he was chosen the President in 2012, Pranab Mukherjee reflected decency in politics that had no place for rancour, acrimony and personalised attacks even as he remained firmly committed to the party's ideology. He oozed a natural warmth and his intellect, knowledge, power of persuasion, memory and skills made him a go-to man in the Congress, especially in the last about 15 years of his political life. He was a Union Minister for over 20 years and had a rare distinction of having served as Union Minister for Finance, External Affairs, Defence and Commerce. Another rare distinction was that he served as leader of both Houses of Parliament - Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha (198085) and Leader of House in Lok Sabha (June 2004 to June 2012). He was also Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission (1991-96). Having witnessed the country's politics for close to five decades as a participant and an observer, Mukherjee had an encyclopedic knowledge of time and events. He was elected five times to Rajya Sabha and twice to Lok Sabha and was a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest policy-making body of the party for 23 years. He was also chief of West Bengal Congress for almost 11 years and chief whip of Congress in Rajya Sabha from 1996-2004. Mukherjee had a vast memory of events and people and could verbatim recite what a leader said at a particular point. This came handy in dealing with tricky situations. His indispensability to Congress can be gauged from the fact that he has headed 95 Group of Ministers to sort out ticklish issues. He wrote three memoirs -- The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years', The Turbulent Years: 1980-1996 and The Coalition Years: 1996 - 2012 and the books are useful education for any student of the country's politics. Mukherjee had strong cross-party connections and could easily share a laugh with an opposition leader. He was conferred Bharat Ratna in 2019 during the rule of BJPled NDA government. He and Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared a mutual respect. After Sonia Gandhi joined politics in 1997 and became Congress chief the next year, Mukherjee aided her in her work of managing the affairs of the party. Pranab Mukherjee was first elected to Rajya Sabha in 1969 and began a nearly five-decade journey of exemplary public life. He rose to positions of growing responsibility under the mentorship of Indira Gandhi. Mukherjee was Deputy Minister (Industrial Development) 1973-74, (Shipping and Transport) 1974, Minister of State for Finance (1974-75) and MoS (Independent Charge) Revenue and Banking 1975-77. After Indira Gandhi returned to power in 1980, Mukherjee was appointed Cabinet Minister for Commerce, Steel and Mines. He held the portfolio till 1982 when he was appointed Finance Minister. Mukherjee had an apparent falling out with Rajiv Gandhi, who became Prime Minister in 1984 following her mother's assassination, and left the Congress in 1986 and formed his own political party Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress. However, the two leaders reconciled by 1989 and Mukherjee merged his party with the Congress. Mukherjee was Union commerce minister (1993-95) and external affairs (1995-96) and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission (1991-96) when PV Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister. When Congress-led UPA came to power in 2004, Mukherjee was appointed defence minister and continued in the position till 2006 when he was made External Affairs Minister, a position he served till 2009. Mukherjee served as Finance Minister in the second UPA government till 2012 when he was chosen the candidate of the ruling coalition for election to the office of President. During 2004-2012, Mukherjee spearheaded critical decisions of the government on a range of issues such as administrative reforms, Right to Information, Right to Employment, food security, energy security, information technology and telecommunication and setting up of UIDAI through GoMs he headed. In the seventies and eighties, he was instrumental in setting up the Regional Rural Banks (1975) and the EXIM Bank of India as well as National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (1981-82). Mukherjee was also the author of a modified formula for resource sharing between the Centre and the States in 1991 which came to be known as the Gadgil - Mukherjee formula. He was born in the small village of Mirati in Birbhum District of West Bengal to freedom fighters Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee and Rajlakshmi on December 11, 1935. His father, also a Congress leader, went to jail several times for his role in India's struggle for independence. After pursuing a Master's degree in History and Political Science and a degree in Law from Kolkata University, Mukherjee took up teaching in a college and also became editor of a Bengali-language monthly. He was given the Best Parliamentarian Award in 1997, and Best Administrator in India Award in 2011 and was conferred honorary doctorate by several universities including by Al-Quds University, Palestine and Hebrew University, Israel. He was rated one of the best five Finance Ministers of the world in 1984 according to a survey conducted by "Euro Money" Journal published from New York and was declared 'Finance Minister of the year' for Asia in 2010 by " E m e r g i n g Markets", the journal of record for the W o r l d Bank and the IMF. 'Passing of an era': President Kovind condoles Pranab Mukherjee's demise NEW DELHI : President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday extended his condolences after Congress veteran and India's former president Pranab Mukherjee passed away at Delhi hospital. "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 and all citizens," President Kovind tweeted. The President recalled the journey of Mukherjee, stating that in his 5decade-long illustrious public life, he remained rooted to the ground irrespective of the exalted offices he held. "Endowed with perspicacity and wisdom, Bharat Ratna Shri Mukherjee combined tradition and modernity. In his 5 decade long illustrious public life, he remained rooted to the ground irrespective of the exalted offices he held. He endeared himself to people across political spectrum," he said. "As the First Citizen, he continued to connect with everyone, bringing Rashtrapati Bhavan closer to the people. He opened its gates for public visit. His decision to discontinue the use of the honorific 'His Excellency' was historic," President Kovind said in a subsequent tweet. Pranab left indelible mark on India's development trajectory: PM NEW DELHI : Condoling the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India is grieved at the demise of Mukherjee, adding that he left an "indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation". Calling Mukherjee a scholar par excellence, the Prime Minister said he was admired across the political spectrum. "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," the Prime Minister tweeted. "During his political career that spanned decades, Shri Pranab Mukherjee made longlasting contributions in key economic and strategic ministries. He was an outstanding Parliamentarian, always wellprepared, extremely articulate as well as witty," Modi said. Shah, Nadda condole Mukherjee's death Sonia condoles Pranab's passing NEW DELHI : Union Home Minister and former BJP President Amit Shah as well as BJP's present chief JP Nadda have condoled the death of former President Pranab Mukherjee. Shah said he is "deeply anguished" NEW DELHI : Interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday condoled the death of former President and veteran Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee. In a message to the late on the passing away of Mukherjee. Saying that Mukherjee served the nation with "utmost devotion", Shah tweeted, "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." Nadda remarked, "Saddened by the demise of former President and statesman Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He has served the Country in many roles with diligence and determination. He is widely admired across the parties for his intellect and perseverance." India thwarts fresh transgression by China at Pangong lake NEW DELHI : India has thwarted China's provocative military movements to change the status quo at the Pangong Tso in Eastern Ladakh. The troop casualties on both sides are yet to be confirmed. A brigade commander-level flag meeting is underway at Chushul to resolve the issues. The incident is from the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday. China and India have been engaged in diplomatic and military talks to resolve the disputed border issue in Eastern Ladakh. In a statement issued, the Indian Army said that on the night of August 29 and August 30, 2020, People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in Eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo. "Indian troops pre-empted this PLA activity on the Southern Bank of Pangong Lake, and undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground," the force said. The Indian Army also stated that they are committed to maintaining peace and tranquility through dialogue, but are also equally determined to protect its territorial integrity. China has refused to move back from its present military position north of the Pangong Tso. At Pangong Tso, China has strengthened their positions between Finger-5 and 8. The PLA has refused to pull back eastwards from the 8-km stretch it occupied from Finger-4 to Finger-8 by building scores of new fortifications there since early May. India has asked China to completely withdraw troops from Pangong Tso. The mountain spurs jutting into the lake are referred to as Fingers in military parlance. Both the countries are engaged in around four month long standoff at the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues. Mourns in passing away of Pranab Mukherjee KOLKATA: Election Commission of India deeply mourns the passing away of Former President Pranab Mukherjee. Expressing grief, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said "In his demise, the nation has lost a widely respected savant and a Rajrishi known for his encyclopaedic knowledge of economic, constitutional and historical affairs." Recalling Pranab Mukherjee's specific association with Election Commission of India, CEC Sh Arora said despite failing health Shri Pranab Mukherjee had graciously accepted ECI's invitation and delivered the first Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture, organised by ECI on 23rd January 2020. Mukherjee, as President of the republic, had addressed ECI's National Voters Day event twice in 2016 and 2017. "May God give his family the strength to bear this irreparable loss", Arora added. On the other hand Sanjiv Goenka mourns the passing away of Pranab Mukherjee. He said, A big banyan tree of Indian democracy is no more. leader's daughter and Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee, Sonia Gandhi 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." Mamata condoled the death of second WBCS officer in Bengal in Covid-19 KOLKATA: CM Mamata Banerjee Monday expressed heartfelt condolences at the passing away of Krishna Chandra Das, the senior Block Development Officer(BDO) of Nawda in Murshidabad district and described his death 'is an irreparable loss'. Expressing her shock at the untimely death of Das (51) who tested Corona positive earlier this month and breathed his last at a leading private hospital in Kolkata yesterday after his condition deteriorated , the Chief minister today tweeted 'Grieved to know about the untimely demise of Krishna Chandra Das, who was posted as BDO Nowda in Murshidabad. A dedicated WBCS(Exe) Officer, Das was at the forefront of our fight against COVID-19 and displayed great sense of sincerity and commitment in his work during the pandemic' Soon in another message she said 'I salute his leadership and his supreme sacrifice for the people of #Bengal. This loss is irreparable, but we stand in solidarity with his family and will extend every possible help to them to fight this situation. My heartfelt condolences to them, his friends and colleagues.'. Das is the second senior WBCS officer in West Bengal who lost his life in Covid-19 pandemic after leading from the front the state government's fight against the pandemic since March. Earlier last month another senior state government official - Deputy Magistrate Debdatta Roy(36) - also passed away in a similar manner after she was also affected by Corona virus while at work in Nadia district.