Know your President better

Jul 23, 2012, 16:29 IST | A Correspondent

As Pranab Mukherjee succeeds Pratibha Patil to become the 13th President of India, here are a few facts about this man, who used to be fondly called 'Poltu'.

Starting off
Mukherjee began his career as a clerk in the office of the Deputy Accountant-General (Post and Telegraph) in Calcutta (now Kolkata) before he became a teacher and later a journalist.

He worked for the noted Bengali publication Desher Dak (Call of Motherland).

Pranab Mukherjee, the 13th President of India (Pic - AFP)

Political aspirations
Mukherjee began his political career with the Indian National Congress in 1969 under then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. 

He was often described as her 'man for all seasons'. He became Leader of the House in Lok Sabha in 2004 and also won a seat from Jangipur in West Bengal.

On the sidelines
Mukherjee was sidelined from the Congress during the Rajiv Gandhi era. He had viewed himself, and not Rajiv, as the rightful successor to Indira Gandhi.

Number 13
Number 13, considered unlucky by many, seems to have been lucky for Pranabda.

His birthdate is July 13, until now his Delhi address was 13, Talkatora Road,New Delhi and he is now the 13th President of India.

Family time
Mukherjee married Suvra Mukherjee and has two sons, Abhijit and Indrajit, and a daughter, Sharmistha.

His hobbies are reading, gardening and music. Mukherjee, who grew up in Birbhum, in rural Bengal, was fondly called 'Poltu'.

Portfolios held
He has held a variety of portfolios over the years like Deputy Chairperson of the Planning Commission, Minister of Defence, Minister of External Affairs and Minister of Finance before becoming the President.

Awards and accolades
In 1984, he was rated as the best Finance Minister in the World according to a survey by Euromoney magazine.

Government of India honored him with the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of India, in 2008.

In 2010, he was awarded 'Finance Minister of the Year for Asia' by Emerging Markets, the daily newspaper for the World Bank and IMF.

Go to top