Kolkata, Dec 3 (IECurrentAffairs) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday paid tribute to former President Dr Rajendra Prasad on his 134th birth anniversary.
“Solemn tribute to Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, on his birth anniversary. He was an eminent advocate and has a #Kolkata connection too. My deepest respect to him,” Ms Banerjee posted on her social networking page.
Born on this day in 1884, Dr Prasad was the first President of India, in office from 1950 to 1962.
An Indian political leader, and lawyer by training, Dr Prasad joined the Indian National Congress during the Indian Independence Movement and became a major leader from the region of Bihar.
A supporter of Mahatma Gandhi, he was imprisoned by British authorities during the Salt Satyagraha of 1931 and the Quit India movement of 1942.
He served one term as President of the Indian National Congress from 1934 to 1935.
After the 1946 elections, Dr Prasad served as Minister of Food and Agriculture in the central government.
Upon independence in 1947, Dr Prasad was elected as President of the Constituent Assembly of India, which prepared the Constitution of India and served as its provisional parliament.
When India became a Republic in 1950, Prasad was elected its first President by the Constituent Assembly.
Following the general election of 1951, he was elected President by the electoral college of the first Parliament of India and its state legislatures.
As President, Dr Prasad established a tradition of non-partisanship and independence for the office-bearer, and retired from Congress party politics.
Although a ceremonial head of state, he encouraged the development of education in India and advised the Nehru government on several occasions.
He died on February 28, 1963.