President Pranab Mukherjee may confer the highest civilian honour of the country, Bharat Ratna, to former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on March 27, sources said.
“It is quite likely that the President may travel to Vajpayee’s residence to present him the Bharat Ratna medallion and certificate as the former PM remains confined to his residence. It all depends on Vajpayee’s medical condition,” said a home ministry official requesting anonymity.
The other option may be of Vajpayee’s family members receiving the honour on his behalf from the President, said sources.
“Earlier, March 16 was being finalised as date for conferment but then it was postponed to March 27 as home minister Rajnath Singh will be away in Japan for four days from March 14,” added the official.
The home ministry is the nodal ministry for making all arrangements with regard to Bharat Ratna. But the recommendation for the highest civilian award of the country is made by the Prime Minister himself to the President.
The government had last year in December announced the names of Vajpayee and freedom fighter and founder of Banaras Hindu University, Madan Mohan Malviya, as the latest recipients of the award.