HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Why no Bharat Ratna for Vajpayee, asks BJP

Ejaz Kaiser, Hindustan Times  Raipur, November 17, 2013
First Published: 16:01 IST(17/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:31 IST(18/11/2013)

A day after the Prime Minister’s Office announced to confer Bharat Ratna on Sachin Tendulkar and scientist CNR Rao, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticised the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for ignoring former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

During his visit to Chhattisgarh on Sunday, Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP national general secretary and deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, told the media that Vajpayee deserved the award. “He was a popular prime minister. He played a significant role in the creation of Chhattisgarh.”

“When we will come to power at the Centre, Atalji will receive the award which he should have got much earlier,” the BJP leader said.

Prasad’s ‘Bharat Ratna for Vajpayee’ demand comes just over two weeks after the former PM’s niece Karuna Shukla resigned from the party’s Chhattisgarh unit and alleged that the BJP was being run by a few powerful people.

Shukla’s resignation in the last week of October was a blow to the BJP morale ahead of the two-phase Assembly elections— on November 11 and 19 — in the state.

Ahead of the second phase, Prasad hit out at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, saying, “Please do your homework. The latest report of the central Labour Bureau says Chhattisgarh’s unemployment rate is lowest among the Indian states.”

Gandhi, during his recent election rallies in Chhattisgarh, has said the youth in the state are in a dismal state owing to the lack of job opportunities.

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