Pranab Mukherjee conferred Bharat Ratna

Former president Pranab Mukherjee, late Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh and late singer Bhupen Hazarika were conferred the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award, on Thursday.

President Ram Nath Kovind gave the award to Pranab, Hazarika's son Tej and Vikramjeet Singh, a close relative of Deshmukh, at a function held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Hazarika and Deshmukh were given the Bharat Ratna posthumously.

The Bharat Ratna has been conferred after a gap of four years.

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and founder of Banaras Hindu University Madan Mohan Malviya were given the award by the Narendra Modi government in 2015.

Pranab Mukherjee has been the fifth president to receive this award. He was the president between 2012 and 2017.

Pranab 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.

(Agencies)