President Kovind Fetes Pranab Mukherjee With Bharat Ratna: PM Modi & BJP Hail 'Jewel Of India'
A Day To Remember
The recommendations for the honour are made by the Prime Minister to the President.
The honour was last awarded in 2015.
On Thursday, the Rashtrapati Bhawan was lit with President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet of ministers in attendance for the felicitation ceremony. The president, dressed in an iconic dark-gray bandhgala, feted this year's winners - one of them being as predecessor in office, Pranab Mukherjee.
Earlier in January, the Rashtrapati Bhawan had announced the names of the awardees. In addition to the former president and Indian National Congress (INC) leader Mukherjee, the late Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nanaji Deshmukh and late singer Bhupen Hazarika were also honoured posthumously.
Here's a peek into moments from the ceremony.
A Glittering Guestlist
Vice President M Venkaikah Naidu, too, graced the ceremony.
However, the Gandhi family was missing at the event, though the Congress congratulated Mukherjee on Twitter for receiving the award.
President Honouring A President
In 1982, Mukherjee became the youngest finance minister at the age of 47. Later, in 2004, he made a mark in the external affairs, defence and finance ministers. He is also the first occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhawan to have these distinctions to his name.
‘Proud Of You, Baba’
The proud kids took to Twitter to express their admiration for their father. Abhijit wrote, "From the remote village of Miraty, Birbhum ,West Bengal to become the "Jewel of India" , we have cherished every footsteps of him in our journey together . I pray for his long long & healthy life ahead . Proud to be your son Baba".
In Memory Of A Veteran
Deshmukh was one of the founding members of the Bharatiya Jan Sangha, which later changed to the BJP. He was also one of the key members of the Jai Prakash Narayan's movement against the 1975 Emergency. Deshmukh, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 94, is also remembered for starting a chain of RSS-inspired schools across India.
In Honour Of A Legendary Musician
A recipient of Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Dada Saheb Phalke Award, Hazarika, who passed away in 2011, is remembered as a cultural icon. He also gave music to Bollywood films like 'Darmiyaan', 'Daman' and 'Gaja Gamini'.