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Bharat Ratna for Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Madan Mohan Malviya

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New Delhi: Former prime minister and BJP veteran Atal Bihari Vajpayee and freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malaviya will be honoured with the country’s highest civilian award the “Bharat Ratna”, the government announced on Wednesday.A statement from President Pranab Mukherjee’s office also said, “The President has been pleased to award Bharat Ratna to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously) and to Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.”

Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier recommended BJP veteran Vajpayee and freedom fighter and educationist Madan Mohan Malaviya’s name for India’s highest civilian honour to President Pranab Mukherjee.

The Centre’s announcement on Bharat Ratna awards comes a day ahead of the veteran BJP leader’s birthday, which falls on December 25. The BJP government had already declared to celebrate December 25 as ‘Good Governance Day’.

After the President’s nod, AB Vajpayee has become the first leader from the country’s political right to be conferred the honour.

A final decision to confer the award was reportedly taken at a meeting PM Modi held yesterday with top BJP leaders including Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah, the party president.

Several politicians have hailed the Centre’s decision to confer Bharat Ratna on Vajpayee and Malviya.

LK Advani of BJP said, “AB Vajpayee truely deserves the award as he had a blemish free tenure as PM.”

I am very happy on Bharat Ratna being conferred to Pt Madan Mohan Malviya ji & Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, said noted cleric Firang Mahali.

‘Delighted by the news… His statesmanship transcended politics’: Nobel laureate Amartya Sen was quoted as saying.

Several BJP leaders expressed their pleasure on the development through their tweets.

Bharat Ratna gets Bharat Ratna . It’s a great day for Bharat. Atal ji Ko Pranam

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