The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, announced on Friday that former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, along with Shri Nanaji Deshmukh and Dr Bhupen Hazarika have been awarded the Bhrat Ratna, the highest prestigious award in India.
A press release was issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan on this matter, which read:
The President has been pleased to award Bharat Ratna to the following:
1. Shri Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously)
2. Dr Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously)
3. Shri Pranab Mukherjee
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, moments after the trio were confirmed to conferred with the Bharat Ratna, congratulated the three individuals and paid tribute to the service to the nation.
Pranab Mukherjee, a veteran Congress leader, was the Defence, External Affairs and Finance Minister during the UPA I and II before he became the 13th President of India. He held the post from 2012 to 2017.
The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award which can be conferred to an individual in India. The accolade is presented to any individual for his services to the country. The recommendation of the names for the Bharat Ratna is given by the PM to the President, following which a maximum of three people are awarded