Two days after President Ramnath Kovind conferred the Bharat Ratna upon Pranab Mukherjee, Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi has said Mukherjee was denied his due recognition by the Congress but BJP paid the tribute he deserved.President Kovind announced Mukherjee’s name along with singer Bhupen Hazarika and social activist Nanaji Deshmukh for India’s highest civilian honour on the eve of Republic Day. Hazarika and Deskmukh were given posthumously.Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushil Modi was addressing a public gathering at Howrah district on Sunday as part of the BJP’s state unit’s bid to organise one public rally in each of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats before February 8.He is scheduled to address a few more rallies over the next few days.“I would first like to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for honouring Pranab Mukherjee with Bharat Ratna. He was not a BJP leader. He was a Congress leader all his life but the Gandhi family did not let him become the prime minister,” Modi said.“He could have been the Prime Minister of India but the Congress denied him the right. By recognising the contributions of Mukherjee, Modi Ji has also taken Bengal’s honour to a new height,” he said.Congress’ Bengal unit president Somen Mitra criticised Sushil Modi for his remarks. “It is in poor taste to create controversy around a former president. Still, since some people are so forgetful, I would like to remind them that it was Congress who made Mukherjee the President,” Mitra said. Congress veteran Mukherjee, who hails from West Bengal’s Birbhum district, served as the president of India between 2012 and 2017.