On behalf of the Royal Government and the people of Bhutan, the Prime Minister, Jigmi Y Thinley extended the warmest greetings and felicitations to Pranab Mukherjee who recently got elected as the 13th President of India.
The Prime Ministers in his letter said that the culmination of Pranab Mukherjee’s most illustrious political career in the highest office of his great nation is a reaffirmation of the trust and confidence of the government and people of India in his wisdom and leadership and a tribute to his long and distinguished service to his country.
“I have the honor to wish Your Excellency every success in the discharge of your sacred duties. Your Excellency’s personal and abiding goodwill towards Bhutan and its people give us every reason to believe that the enduring ties of friendship and cooperation between our two countries will be further strengthened,” wrote the Prime Minister.
Pranab Mukherjee is a senior Congress leader who held the finance ministry portfolio in the cabinet before he resigned to become the President.
Mukherjee began his political career with the Indian National Congress in 1969 under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He became one of her top lieutenants and was often described as her “man for all seasons”. He became a cabinet minister in Indira Gandhi’s government in 1973. Mukherjee rose through a series of cabinet posts to become the Finance Minister of India from 1982 to 1984. Mukherjee was Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha from 1980 to 1985.
He formed his own political party, the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress, but later merged it with Congress in 1989 after reaching a political compromise with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Mukherjee’s political career revived when Prime Minister Narasimha Rao chose to appoint him as Deputy Chairperson of the Planning Commission and subsequently as a union cabinet minister in the 1990s.
He served as the Minister of External Affairs (Foreign Minister) from 1995 to 1996 in Rao’s cabinet. Mukherjee was the principal architect of Sonia Gandhi’s entry into Indian politics in the 1990s.
He became the elder statesman of the Congress party during this period. Mukherjee was Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2012. He served as the Minister of Defence from 2004 to 2006 and again served as the Minister of External Affairs from 2006 to 2009. He was the Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012 in the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
He is considered by many leaders in Bhutan to be a close friend of Bhutan.