Mumbai: Congratulating the Indian cricket team for winning the World Cup, Maharashtra Assembly on Tuesday recommended to the Centre that batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar be conferred 'Bharat Ratna', the country's highest civilian award.
The motion congratulating the team and recommending Bharat Ratna for Tendulkar was moved by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and supported by all parties.
"We recommend that Tendulkar be conferred with the Bharat Ratna for his contribution to sports," Chavan said before the house adopted the resolution unanimously.
Noting that after 28 years, the dreams of 121 crore Indians has come true Chavan announced that the state government will honour players from Maharashtra Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan with a cash prize of Rs 1 crore and a citation.
Similarly, two members of the team's support staff Mayank Parekh (logistics manager) and Ramesh Mane (masseur) will be honoured with Rs 50 lakh each.
He also congratulated the police and traffic department for ensuring an incident free World Cup final in Mumbai last Saturday.
Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse said Sachin was "God" of Cricket".
"This achievement has not come easy for him and it has required 21 years of hard work and unblemished career. Sachin is a complete team man despite frequent criticism that he plays for his individual records," he said.
Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai demanded that Sachin be granted additional FSI for construction of gymnasium in his under construction bungalow at Bandra.
"He is a sportsman and wants a gym constructed in his own home. He has not asked FSI for a disco or club. His request should be granted and if necessary rules should be amended," he added.
Desai was supported by Bala Nandgaonkar (MNS) and Ganpatrao Deshmukh (PWP).
"Other states have given him (Tendulkar) prime real estate plots for his achievements. Can't we give him additional FSI in his own house," Deshmukh asked.
BJP's Devendra Phadanvis said as per sports policy of 2003, sportspersons who have played at national and international levels would be allowed to have their own gymnasiums.
Samajwadi party leader Abu Asim Azmi described the World Cup win as a moment of pride for all Indians.
PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal said Tendulkar's 85 runs in Mohali against Pakistan had paved the way for India's entry into the final.
"It is a moment of pride that the final took place in Mumbai at the renovated Wankhede stadium. The ICC president is also a Maharashtrian (Sharad Pawar)," he said, even as NCP members thumped their desks.
Bhujbal said Sachin be honoured with Bharat Ratna and the rest of the team should be felicitated with the Padma awards.
Speaker Dilip Walse Patil said that in 1983 when India won the World Cup for the first time, former Union Minister N K P Salve from Nagpur was the BCCI president.
"It's a coincidence that this time too the BCCI president is also a Nagpurian-- Shashank Manohar and the ICC president is Sharad Pawar (a Maharashtrian)," he added.
All members including the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar stood up and clapped loudly with many chanting "India... India" and "Bharat Mata Ki Jai".
The Speaker also joined in and complimented the Home Department for handling the law and order situation effectively.