LK Advani to be Conferred Bharat Ratna, PM Modi Hails His ‘Monumental Contributions’

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Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani, who led the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the 1990s, will be conferred the Bharat Ratna– India’s highest civilian award–, announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday morning.

“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,” PM Modi said in a post on ‘X’.

Describing the 96-year-old former deputy PM as ‘one of the most respected statesmen of our times”, PM Modi said the veteran politician’s contribution to the development of India is monumental.

“His is a life that started from working at the grassroots to serving the nation as our 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,” PM Modi further wrote.

Further praising the veteran leader PM Modi noted that Advani’s decades-long service in public life has been marked by an unwavering commitment to transparency and integrity, setting an exemplary standard in political ethics.

“He has made unparalleled efforts towards furthering national unity and cultural resurgence. The conferring of the Bharat Ratna on him is a very emotional moment for me. I will always consider it my privilege that I got countless opportunities to interact with him and learn from him,” PM Modi added.

Advani was the Deputy Prime Minister in Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government. Before retiring from active politics, the BJP leader had been a member of both Houses of Parliament between 1970 and 2019.

BJP’s longest-serving president, Advani, is credited with crafting the party’s rise through the 90s when it came to power for the first time as the head of coalition governments under Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

In 1990, Advani embarked on the Ram Rath Yatra– a chariot procession–to mobilise volunteers for the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. The Yatra began from Somnath in Gujarat and headed to converge at Ayodhya.

The effect of the Yatra was such that in the 1991 general election, the BJP emerged as the second largest party after the Congress with Advani winning for the second time from Gandhinagar and becoming the leader of opposition again.

The announcement came days after Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 24 said Karpoori Thakur, the late former Bihar chief minister and socialist leader, will be awarded the highest civilian honour posthumously, in time for his 100th birth anniversary celebrations.

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