'Why Overlook Balasaheb Thackeray?' MP Sanjay Raut, MNS Chief Call For Bharat Ratna To Shiv Sena Founder

'Why Overlook Balasaheb Thackeray?' MP Sanjay Raut, MNS Chief Call For Bharat Ratna To Shiv Sena Founder

On Friday, Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief demanded the Modi government to confer Thackeray with the highest civilian honour.

Rahul MUpdated: Friday, February 09, 2024, 06:32 PM IST
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After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Bharat Ratna to former prime ministers Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, and agronomist MS Swaminathan, calls for conferring Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray with the highest civilian award have begun. On Friday, Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray demanded the Modi government to confer Thackeray with the Bharat Ratna.

Noting that the rule permits a maximum of three Bharat Ratna awards per year, Raut said that the Modi government five this year ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. He also alleged the government overlooked Thackeray for consideration of Bharat Ratna.

"The Modi government, self-proclaimed as Hindutva, has once again overlooked the iconic figure Balasaheb Thackeray. First, two, and now three, five leaders have been honoured with the Bharat Ratna in a single month. Noteworthy is the absence of recognition for Veer Savarkar and Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray," Raut said in the post in Marathi.

"The question arises: why overlook Balasaheb Thackeray, whose influence extended Hindu sentiments throughout India and played a pivotal role in the celebration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya by Modi?"

Similar to Raut, MNS chief Raj Thackeray took to X to demand the prestigious award to the Shiv Sena founder who "kindle the pride of all Hindus".

"Former Prime Minister P. V. 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," Raj Thackeray said in his post.

"Now that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre 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. 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," said Raj Thackeray.

'Not right to ignore and despise Dalit personalities'

Meanwhile, Bahujan Samajwadi Party supremo Mayawati reiterated her stance of the Modi government ignoring Dalit icons while conferring the Bharat Ratna on Advani, Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh and Swaminathan.

"All the personalities who have been honoured with Bharat Ratna by the present BJP government are welcome, but in this matter, it is absolutely not right to despise and ignore especially the Dalit personalities. The government must also pay attention to this."

"After a long wait Baba Saheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar was honoured with the Bharat Ratna by the government of Shri VP Singh. After him, the struggle done by respected Shri Kanshiram ji, the messiah of the Dalits and the neglected, in their interests is no less. He should also be honored with Bharat Ratna," Mayawait said.

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