PM Modi announces Bharat Ratna for LK Advani | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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LK Advani to be conferred with Bharat Ratna, says PM Modi: ‘His contribution to development of India is monumental’

Feb 03, 2024 02:32 PM IST

Modi said Advani, BJP's founding member and the face of the Ram mandir movement, started from working at the grassroots to serving the nation as deputy PM

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced the Bharat Ratna Award, the country’s highest civilian honour, to be conferred to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) patriarch Lal Krishna Advani.

PM Modi (left) with LK Advani (right) (Twitter/@narendramodi)
PM Modi (left) with LK Advani (right) (Twitter/@narendramodi)

“I am very happy to share that Shri LK Advani Ji will be conferred the Bharat Ratna. I also spoke to him and congratulated him on being conferred this honour. One of the most respected statesmen of our times, his contribution to the development of India is monumental,” the Prime Minister wrote on X.

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Modi said Advani, who was a former minister, a founding member of the BJP and the face of the Ramajanmabhoomi movement, started from working at the grassroots to serving the nation as India’s deputy Prime Minister.

“He distinguished himself as our Home Minister and I&B Minister as well. His Parliamentary interventions have always been exemplary, full of rich insights,” the PM said.

In a statement, Advani said he accepts the honour with utmost humility and gratitude.

“It is not only an honour for me as a person but also for the ideals and principles that I strove to serve throughout my life to the best of my ability. Ever since I joined the RSS as its volunteer at the age of 14, I have sought reward in only thing - dedicated and selfless service to my beloved country in whatever task life assigned to me."

He also paid tribute to then prime minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was conferred the award in 2015, Deen Dayal to the “millions of party workers, swayamsevaks and others with whom I had the privilege of working throughout my journey in public life.”

Advani also thanked President Droupadi Murmu and PM Modi and paid tribute to his late wife Kamala. “I also express my deepest feelings for all members of my family, especially my dear departed wife Kamla. They have been the greatest source of strength and sustenance in my life”.

LK Advani's political journey

Advani began his parliamentary stint in 1970 when he was elected to the Rajya Sabha. He contested his first Lok Sabha election in 1989 from New Delhi, defeating Mohini Giri.

In 1991, he contested from two constituencies, Gandhi Nagar in Gujarat and New Delhi, and won both. He subsequently opted to represent Gandhi Nagar. He fought his last election in 2014 from the same seat.

Advani catapulted the BJP into national reckoning with his Rath Yatra for Ayodhya’s Ram Temple in the early 1990s.

Advani, who was considered to represent the hardline ideological faction of the BJP, had to resign when his name came up in connection with the Hawala diaries.

Although he was committed to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideology, he earned the wrath of the Sangh Parivar during his visit to Pakistan in 2005, where he praised Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. The furore led to Advani, who was born in Karachi, stepping down as the president of the BJP.

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