NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the Bharat Ratna conferred on former president Pranab Mukherjee is a fitting recognition for his service to the nation.
Mukherjee was conferred the highest civilian award by his successor Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday.
"Thank you for leaving no stone unturned towards making India more developed. It was an honour to witness you receiving the Bharat Ratna, a fitting recognition of everything that you have done for the nation," Modi tweeted.
Acclaimed Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika and RSS leader Nanaji Deshmukh were conferred the award posthumously.
Mukherjee, fondly known as 'Pranab Da', has been the fifth president to receive this award.
He was the president between 2012 and 2017.
Mukherjee (83), who was also known as the quintessential 'Man Friday' of the Congress, joins the elite club of former presidents Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Rajendra Prasad, Zakir Hussain and V V Giri, who were also awarded the nation's highest civilian honour.
Mukherjee became India's youngest finance minister in 1982 at the age of 47.
From 2004, he went on to head three crucial ministries -- external affairs, defence and finance -- and became the first occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan to have this distinction.
Last year, Mukherjee had drawn flak from certain quarters for attending a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) function in Nagpur.