Agencies add: Government on Wednesday announced the prestigious Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malaviya.
A meeting of the Union Cabinet was convened in New Delhi on Wednesday where the decision to confer the honour on Vajpayee and Malviya was taken.
The announcement coincides with Vajpayee’s birthday on December 25 which the government has already declared as ‘Good Governance Day’.
A Bharat Ratna for Madan Mohan Malaviya, freedom fighter and educationist popularly known as ‘Mahamana’, was one of the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his election campaigns.
“The President has been pleased to award Bharat Ratna to Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya (posthumously) and to Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” a press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
43 people have been honoured with the Bharat Ratna since its inception, including scientist CV Raman, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, singer Lata Mangeshkar and politicians C Rajagopalachari.
Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, has expressed delight at the Bharat Ratna being conferred on Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“Bharat Ratna being conferred on Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee is a matter of great delight. Country`s highest honour to these illustrious stalwarts is a fitting recognition of their service to the Nation. Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya is remembered as a phenomenal scholar and freedom fighter who lit the spark of national consciousness among people. Atal ji means so much to everyone. A guide, inspiration and giant among giants. His contribution to India is invaluable,” the Prime Minister said.