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Date of Birth 11-12-1935
Nationality Indian
Sunsign Sagittarius
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Pranab Kumar Mukherjee (born 11 December 1935, Mirati, West Bengal, India) is the UPA nominee in the 2012 presidential elections. He previously served as the Finance Minister of India.

Early life

He belongs to a Bengali Hindu Kulin Brahmin family.His father Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee was a member of AICC, and West Bengal Legislative Council (1952–64), and President, District Congress Committee, Birbhum (WB).He attended the Suri Vidyasagar College, Suri (Birbhum), then affiliated with the University of Calcutta.He holds a Master of Arts degrees in History and Political Science & has a degree in law from the University of Calcutta. In 2011 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by University of Wolverhampton.

Professional career

Mukherjee began his career as an upper-division clerk in the office of the Deputy Accountant-General(Post and Telegraph)in Kolkata before he became a college-teacher and later a journalist. He worked for noted Bengali publication Desher Dak (Call of Motherland). He also became trustee of Bangiya Sahitya Parishad and later President of Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan.

Political career

He has a parliamentary career of over four decades, which began as a member of Rajya Sabha (upper house) from the Congress Party in 1969; he was re-elected in 1975, 1981, 1993 and 1999. In 1973, he joined the cabinet as Union Deputy Minister, Industrial Development. He rose through a series of cabinet posts to become the Finance Minister of India from 1982 to 1984. His term was noted for India not withdrawing the last billion installment of an IMF loan. Dr. Manmohan Singh was serving Reserve Bank of India as Governor during Pranab's term as Finance Minister. He was not included in Rajiv Gandhi's cabinet after Lok Sabha election held subsequent to Indira Gandhi's assassination. He was pushed out of the Congress party for a brief period, and during this period he formed his own political party Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress, but later merged it with Congress party in 1989 after settlement with Rajiv Gandhi. His political career revived when P.V. Narasimha Rao chose to appoint him as deputy chairman of the planning commission and subsequently as a union cabinet minister. He served as External Affairs Minister for the first time from 1995 to 1996 in Rao's cabinet. In 1997 he was voted Outstanding Parliamentarian.

olitical party role

Mukherjee is very well respected within the party social circles."Other media accounts describe him as having "a reputation as a number-crunching politician with a phenomenal memory and an unerring survival instinct."After Sonia Gandhi reluctantly agreed to join politics, Mukherjee was one of her key mentors, guiding her through difficult situations with examples of how her mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi would have done things Mukherjee's unfailing loyalty and competence have led to his closeness to Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, and helped him gain the position of Minister of Defence when the party came to power in 2004.He has also held the position of Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission from 1991 to 1996.His talents were on display during the negotiations for the Patent's Amendment Bill in early 2005. The Congress was committed to passing an IP bill, but their allies in the United Progressive Alliance from the Left front had a long tradition of opposing some of the monopoly aspects of intellectual property. Pranab Mukherjee, as Defence Minister, was not formally involved but was roped in for his negotiation skills. He drew on many old alliances including the CPI-M leader Jyoti Basu, and formed new intermediary positions, which included product patent and little else. Then he had to convince his own colleagues including commerce minister Kamal Nath, at one point saying: "An imperfect legislation is better than no legislation."Finally the bill was approved on March 23, 2005.

Foreign Minister: October 2006

On 24 October 2006, he was appointed as the External Affairs Minister of India. His replacement in the Defence Ministry is A. K. Antony, a senior Congress Party politician and former Chief Minister of Kerala.Mukherjee was briefly considered for the post of the largely ceremonial Indian presidency. But his name was subsequently dropped after his contribution in the Union Cabinet was considered practically indispensable. Among Mukherjee's current legacy was the successful signing of the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement with the US government and then with the Nuclear Suppliers Group, allowing India to participate in civilian nuclear trade in spite of not having signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He is also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honor in 2007

Finance Minister

Pranab Mukherjee's first stint as the Finance minister of India was during the Indira Gandhi government in 1982. He presented his first annual budget in 1982-83. In the second government of Manmohan Singh, he again became the Finance Minister of India, a job he had held earlier, in the 1980s. On July 6, 2009, he presented the government's annual budget. In it, he announced many tax reforms, such as the scrapping of the 'irritant' Fringe Benefits Tax and the Commodities Transaction Tax. He announced, that the Finance Ministry, was well on track, to implement the Goods and Services Tax, a tax, that has been praised by major corporate executives, and economists. He also expanded funding for social sector schemes, like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, girl's literacy, and health care. Also, he expanded infrastructure programmes, like the National Highway Development Programme, expansion of electricity coverage, and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. However, many people, expressed concern, about the rising fiscal deficit, the highest since 1991. Mukherjee said, that the expansion in government spending was only temporary, and he said that the government, was committed to the principle of fiscal prudence. He presented the 2009 Union budget of India as well as 2010 Union budget of India and the 2011 budget.

Contender for President

He has been named as the presidential candidate from UPA. Pranab Mukherjee is considered as an eligible candidate for the President of India.The elections are scheduled to be conducted on 19 July 2012 after the five-states scheduled elections. The results are slated to be announced on 22 July 2012. In order to file nomination for the presidential poll on June 28, Pranab Mukherjee resigned from the government on 26 June 2012. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed the nomination papers of Pranab Mukherjee on 26 June 2012.Prime minister Manmohan Singh has taken the charge of finance ministry after Pranab Mukherjee's resignation.

Personal life

Pranab Mukherjee married Suvra Mukherjee on July 13, 1957 and has two sons, Abhijit and Indrajit and a daughter. He is inspired by Deng Xiaoping & has quoted him quite frequently. His hobbies are reading, gardening and music.Away from the political chaos in New Delhi, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee celebrates the Durga Puja at his ancestral home in Mirati village of West Bengal's Birbhum district.For Sri Mukherjee, who makes it a point to be at Mirati village every year to take part in the four-day rituals, the puja has a 'social dimension'. "I want to avail of this opportunity to be with the people of my area," he said during the ceremony on October 4th, 2011.

Honours, awards and international recognitionIn 1984

, he was rated as the best Finance Minister of the World according to a survey of Euromoney magazine. In 2010 he was awarded "Finance Minister of the Year for Asia" by Emerging Markets, the daily newspaper of record for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).In December 2010 The Banker recognised him as "Finance Minister of the Year" after making significant inroads into budget deficit reduction, throughout a turbulent year

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