New Delhi, Dec 22: Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani has backed awarding the Bharat Ratna to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Advani said that he regarded it as “significant” that the Narendra Modi government has decided to observe Vajpayee’s birthday Dec 25, as ‘Good Governance Day’.
Advani said Vajpayee “has been doing his duty and I do not think in terms of Bharat Ratna being a reward for performing one’s duty”.
He said: “If he is given Bharat Ratna, as I have myself suggested once, it would be very appropriate and befitting for a patriot like Vajpayee.”
Speaking to a news channel, Advani said: “A Bharat Ratna for Atal Bihari Vajpayee should not be seen in terms of a reward for doing his duty but as an award that recognises his stature. It would be very appropriate and befitting for a patriot like Vajpayee.”
“I regarded it significant that the new government has decided to observe Dec 25, Vajpayeeji’s birthday as ‘Good Governance Day’,” senior BJP leader said.
He further said: “Though from the point of view of Bharat Ratna, I don’t think Bharat Ratna is appropriate as a reward for something that Vajpayee has contributed to the country. Whatever he has done, he has been doing his duty both as a patriot as well as the person assigned for the responsibility of becoming the prime minister of the country.”
It may be noted that the NDA government has drawn flak for an earlier directive asking schools and universities to observe the Dec 25 holiday of Christmas as ‘Good Governance Day’.
In the wake of the strident criticism, the government allowed schools to remain closed on Christmas. However, it has asked ministries to observe the day as ‘Good Governance Day’ or “Sushashan Diwas”.
The ministries have lined up programmes to mark former PM Vajpayee’s birthday.
(With Agency Inputs)