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Bharat Ratna controversy: Who said what

Interestingly this year, Bharat Ratna has become an issue for 2014 Lok Sabha polls which was so far kept above politics.


Updated:November 18, 2013, 3:52 PM IST
Bharat Ratna controversy: Who said what
Interestingly this year, Bharat Ratna has become an issue for 2014 Lok Sabha polls which was so far kept above politics.

New Delhi: Two days after cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar was bestowed with the Bharat Ratna, political parties are demanding that their leaders should also get India's highest civilian award. Some want former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to be honoured with the award while others are pitching for hockey great Dhyanchand. Interestingly this year, Bharat Ratna has become an issue for 2014 Lok Sabha polls which was so far kept above politics.

Here is what the leaders have to say:

Nitish Kumar, Bihar Chief Minister: Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji should have also got the Bharat Ratna. In sports, what Sachin Tendulkar has acheived is welcomed. Nitish says Ram Manohar Lohia ji should have got the Bharat Ratna long ago and I think even Atalji must get it.

Pallam Raju, Human Resouce and Development Minister: If country wants, Vajpayee should get Bharat Ratna. I'm sure people have wisdom, Vajpayee is a great statesman and if the country decides, he should Bharat Ratna. I don't see why not.

Shivanand Tiwari, Janata Dal United: Sachin is a good player but he was paid a lot of money to do that. He didn't play for free. Someone like Dhyanchand who won several medals for India at a time when we were not a free nation, this award was not given to him.

Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister and NC: Atal Bihari Vajpayee should have got the Bharat Ratna. Even Nehruji praised a leader like Vajpayee. He deserves a Bharat Ratna.

Chandrababu Naidu, Telugu Desam Party: TDP founder NT Rama Rao to be given the Bharat Ratna. NTR's contribution to Indian film and politics cannot be ignored.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister: It is good that Sachin Tendulkar has got the Bharat Ratna, but hockey great Major Dhyanchand too should be given Bharat Ratna. I support my party's call for Bharat Ratna to Atal Behari Vajpayee.

BJP: The Bharatiya Janata Party demnaded that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee be given the Bharat Ratna. "Why did Atal Bihari Vajpayee not get the Bharat Ratna. The reason I'm raising this now is because the Congress party does not look beyond dynastic interests," says BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Jairam Ramesh, Rural Development Minister: The Prime Minister and the President will consider it. It's the prerogative of the PM and President to give the award people who they think deserve it. I'm sure they'll consider it.'

Janata Dal United: We also support the demand for Bharat Ratna to Vajpayee, says Bihar JDU president Bashisht Narain Singh.

Narendra Modi, Gujarat Chief Minister: Bharat Ratna for Sachin Tendulkar is a fitting tribute for his contribution to sports. My congratulations to him. Congratulations to eminent scientist Professor CNR Rao on being conferred with the Bharat Ratna.

Lata Mangeshkar, singer: I've been saying Sachin deserves the Bharat Ratna for three years now. The Indian government couldn't have chosen a more opportune moment to award Bharat Ratna to Sachin.

N Srinivasan, BCCI President: Sachin Tendulkar is an inspirational figure, and a role model for all sportspersons. He richly deserves the Bharat Ratna. I extend my heartiest congratulations to him.

Rajeev Shukla, BCCI Vice President: Sachin will always be remembered and people will always get motivated by him. His Longevity, the kind of records he has achieved in his phenomenal career, it can't be broken for another 100 years. He deserves the kind of honour. It is a great privilege that the Government has chosen him for the award.

Sachin Tendulkar: Yesterday, I said this award is for my mother, for all the sacrifices she has made for me. Today I dedicate this award to mothers all across India," he said at a press conference in Mumbai on Sunday. There are millions and millions of mothers in India who sacrifice many things for their children. I would like to share my award with them.

Prime Minister's Office: Shri Sachin Tendulkar is undoubtedly an outstanding cricketer - a living legend who has inspired millions across the globe. During the last 24 years, since the young age of 16 years, Shri Tendulkar has played cricket across the world and won laurels for our country. He has been a true ambassador of India in the world of sports. His achievements in cricket are unparalleled, the records set by him unmatched, and the spirit of sportsmanship displayed by him exemplary. That he has been honoured with several awards is testimony to his extraordinary brilliance as a sportsman.####

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