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Raj Thackeray, Sanjay Raut demand ‘Bharat Ratna’ award for Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray

Feb 10, 2024 12:15 PM IST

Raj Thackeray demanded the Bharat Ratna (posthumously), India's highest civilian award, for his uncle and late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Friday demanded the Bharat Ratna (posthumously), India's highest civilian award, for his uncle and the late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.

Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray passed away in 2012 (File)
Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray passed away in 2012 (File)

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) Raj Thackeray wrote, “Former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh, and S Swaminathan, father of the Indian Green Revolution, were posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna. S Swaminathan passed away just a few months ago. A scientist who achieved so much should have received this honour during his lifetime. Anyway.”

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On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that the Bharat Ratna will be bestowed upon former prime ministers Chaudhary Charan Singh and PV Narasimha Rao. Additionally, MS Swaminathan, recognised as the pioneer of the green revolution, will also receive this prestigious award.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut made a similar request on Friday. Taking to X, Sanjay Raut said, “Prime Minister Modi who calls himself Hindutva-vadi has once again forgotten Hindu Hridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray. First two and now three leaders have been honoured with Bharat Ratna in barely one month. However, neither Veer Savarkar nor Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray who deserve Bharat Ratna more than anyone else have been fully ignored.”

Attacking Modi, Sanjay Raut said while three Bharat Ratna awards are usually announced in a year, the PM announced five alleging that it was because of upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Modi earlier announced a Bharat Ratna for former Bihar chief minister Karpuri Thakur and BJP veteran LK Advani.

Sanjay Raut said, “After Karpuri Thakur and LK Advani, today Chaudhary Charan Singh, P V Narasimha Rao and M S Swaminathan have been honoured with Bharat Ratna. Other leaders are waiting too.”

He added, “But why has the PM forgotten Shri Balasaheb Thackeray who is the real architect behind the Hindu wave sweeping the country? And remember, it is because of Balasaheb, PM Modi could hold the consecration ceremony of Ram temple in Ayodhya.”

He further wrote. “Now that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Center has shown political generosity by honouring P. V. Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh, and Pranab Mukherjee a few years ago, they must show the same generosity and declare Balasaheb Thackeray ‘Bharat Ratna’ as well.”

Describing Bal Thackeray as a “unique leader”, Raj Thackeray added, “A prominent cartoonist of this country and a unique leader who kindled the pride of all Hindus across the country deserves this honour. It will be a moment of jubilation for me, and others like me who have inherited Balasaheb’s thoughts.”

PM Modi announced Bharat Ratna awards

In a post on X, PM Modi said, “Delighted to share that our former Prime Minister, PV Narasimha Rao Garu, will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna. As a distinguished scholar and statesman, Narasimha Rao Garu served India extensively in various capacities. He is equally remembered for the work he did as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister, and as a Member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly for many years. His visionary leadership was instrumental in making India economically advanced, laying a solid foundation for the country's prosperity and growth.”

He added, “Narasimha Rao Garu's tenure as Prime Minister was marked by significant measures that opened India to global markets, fostering a new era of economic development. Furthermore, his contributions to India's foreign policy, language and education sectors underscore his multifaceted legacy as a leader who not only steered India through critical transformations but also enriched its cultural and intellectual heritage.”

On Chaudhary Charan Singh's contribution to the country, the PM said, “It is the good fortune of our government that former Prime Minister of the country Chaudhary Charan Singh is being honoured with Bharat Ratna. This honour is dedicated to his incomparable contribution to the country. He had dedicated his entire life to the rights and welfare of farmers. Be it the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh or the Home Minister of the country, even as an MLA, he always gave impetus to nation-building. He also stood firm against the Emergency. His dedication to our farmer brothers and sisters and his commitment to democracy during the Emergency are inspiring to the entire nation.”

The PM also said Swaminathan, a renowned figure in Indian agriculture known for his pivotal contribution to India's 'Green Revolution', will be honoured with the award posthumously.

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