NEW DELHI: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani would be conferred with the Bharat Ratna award, various leaders across the country congratulated him and said that the veteran leader has made a valuable contribution for country’s development. AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also extended his wishes to LK Advani and prayed for his long life.
“Many congratulations and best wishes to senior leader Lal Krishna Advani ji on the announcement of the Bharat Ratna award. I pray to God that he always remains healthy and lives long,” the AAP convenor posted on X.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar said that LK Advani has made a valuable contribution to the development of the country. “India’s former Deputy Prime Minister and senior leader, LK Advani, is delighted to be awarded Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour. He has made a valuable contribution in the development of the country. Heartiest congratulations,” Pawar posted on X.
RJD leader Manoj Jha, too, expressed his happiness over the announcement. “I am very happy to share that LK Advani will be conferred the Bharat Ratna. I also spoke to him and congratulated him on being conferred this honour. One of the most respected statesmen of our time, his 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 information and broadcasting minister as well. His parliamentary interventions have always been exemplary, full of rich insights,” he said.
This is the seventh Bharat Ratna awarded by the Modi government, since assuming power in 2014. The list also includes Karpoori Thakur, Madan Mohan Malviya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Pranab Mukherjee, Bhupen Hazarika, and Nanaji Deshmukh. TDP supremo and former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu also congratulated LK Advani on being awarded the nation’s highest civilian honour and said that his genuine warmth and affectionate nature leave a lasting impression on everyone.
“Congratulations to LK Advani Ji on being awarded the nation’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna. Advani Ji has distinguished himself through exemplary hard work and devotion towards the nation. A scholar and statesman, he has made exceptional contributions to the country. I’ve had the privilege of working with him. His genuine warmth and affectionate nature leave a lasting impression on everyone,” Naidu posted on X.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav termed the BJP’s move to honour Bharat Ratna to LK Advani as an attempt to “save votes.” “BJP gave the honour of Bharat Ratna to Advani ji to save votes. A consensus has been reached regarding the distribution of seats in the INDIA alliance. Seats will be distributed according to victory and seat,” he said.
Born in Karachi, in present day Pakistan, on November 8, 1927, Advani through the years had served as the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party for the longest period since its inception in 1980. Capping a parliamentary career of nearly three decades, he was, first, the Home Minister and, later, the Deputy Prime Minister in the cabinet of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1999-2004).
Advani is widely regarded as an individual of great intellectual ability, strong principles, and unwavering support for the idea of a strong and prosperous India. As confirmed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Advani has ‘never compromised on his core belief in nationalism, and yet has displayed flexibility in political responses whenever it was demanded by the situation’.
The veteran leader’s celebration of India’s independence from the British in 1947 was sadly short lived as he became one of the millions to be torn from his homeland amidst the terror and bloodshed of the tragedy of India’s partition. These events, however, did not turn him bitter or cynical but instead spurred him on in his desire to create a more secular India. With this goal in mind he journeyed to Rajasthan to continue his work as an RSS Pracharak.
Through the latter half of the 1980s and the 1990s, LK Advani focused on the singular task of building the BJP into a national political force. The results of his efforts were underscored by the 1989 General Election. The Party bounced back from its 1984 tally of 2 to achieve an impressive 86 seats. The Party position moved up to 121 seats in 1992 and 161 in 1996; making the 1996 elections a watershed in Indian democracy. For the first time since independence, the Congress was dethroned from its preeminent position, and the BJP became the single largest party in the Lok Sabha.