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Advani Conferred Bharat Ratna at his Residence

Advani Conferred Bharat Ratna at his Residence

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NEW DELHI, Mar 31: The President Droupadi Murmu on Sunday conferred Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour, on BJP stalwart and former deputy prime minister L K Advani at his residence.

The ceremony was attended by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and the family members of Mr Advani, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a post on X.

Prime Minister Modi sat next to Mr Advani as the President honoured the veteran leader with Bharat Ratna. A doyen of Indian politics, Mr Advani has served the nation with unwavering dedication and distinction for over seven decades, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said, adding that as a parliamentarian, his emphasis on dialogue enriched parliamentary traditions.

Whether as home minister or as deputy prime minister, Mr Advani always prioritised national interest above all, earning him respect and admiration from across party lines, it said in a series of posts on X. “His long and tireless struggle for India’s cultural regeneration culminated in the reconstruction of Shri Ram Temple in Ayodhya in 2024,” it said.

Among the handful of post-Independence political leaders who succeeded in reshaping the national agenda and placing it on the path of development, Mr Advani’s accomplishments provide the best articulation of the genius of India and its inclusive traditions, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said and shared pictures of the ceremony on X.

Born in Karachi (now in Pakistan) in 1927, Mr Advani migrated to India in 1947 during Partition. The 96-year-old BJP stalwart served as deputy prime minister from June 2002 to May 2004 and as Union home minister from October 1999 to May 2004. He was BJP president multiple times — from 1986 to 1990, 1993 to 1998, and 2004 to 2005.

For his exceptional service in public life, Mr Advani was conferred Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian award, in 2015. This year, the government announced five Bharat Ratna awards — one to Mr Advani and four posthumously to former prime ministers P V Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan and two-time former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur.

Mr Rao, Mr Singh, Mr Swaminathan and Mr Thakur’s family members received the award from the president on Saturday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

(Manas Dasgupta)


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