Govt broke ‘three Bharat Ratnas a year’ rule for poll gains: Ashok Gehlot - Hindustan Times

Govt broke ‘three Bharat Ratnas a year’ rule for poll gains: Ashok Gehlot

Feb 11, 2024 07:15 PM IST

Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot accused the central government of politicising Bharat Ratna and reducing the dignity of the honour

Senior Congress leader and former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government of violating the rule of announcing a maximum of three Bharat Ratna awards in a year for electoral gains.

Ashok Gehlot. (HT Photo)
Ashok Gehlot. (HT Photo)

“We welcome the award of Bharat Ratna to five personalities by the Government of India. We have immense respect for these personalities and their contribution to the country is incomparable. However, it seems that by giving Bharat Ratnas in haste by breaking the rule of giving a maximum of three Bharat Ratnas in a year, this honour has been made election oriented and politicised, and the dignity of the honour has been reduced. I do not think that the NDA will get much benefit from these decisions,” Gehlot said on X.

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On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that former prime ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, and agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan will be awarded the Bharat Ratna. Earlier the government had named Karpoori Thakur, socialist leader and former Bihar chief minister and senior BJP leader L K Advani for the highest civilian honour.

This year’s five recipients surpass the four awarded in 1999, marking the highest number of Bharat Ratnas awarded in a single year.

Gehlot said, If the NDA government really wants to honor their contribution, then they should conduct a caste census to further the efforts made by Karpoori Thakur for the upliftment of the backward classes; and enact a law for minimum support price as demanded by Chaudhary Charan Singh and MS Swaminathan; and ensure compliance with the Places of Worship Act made by PV Narasimha Rao, which is being disregarded everyday these days; and try to normalize the atmosphere of apprehension like undeclared emergency expressed by Lal Krishna Advani during the NDA government. Otherwise, everyone will believe that these honours are only for electoral gains.”

Commenting on it, BJP spokesperson Mukesh Pareek said the Congress looks for politics in every work of the BJP. They were apprehensive of Article 370 but today Kashmir is on the path of progress and people are seeing development.

He said they called Ram temple an election issue, but people’s dream came true. “The Bharat Ratna is awarded keeping aside the party politics. The GoI takes steps considering all the rules and regulations in mind. Everyone should welcome the honour given to the personalities.”

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