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Home > News > Report

Honour Vajpayee with the Bharat Ratna: Advani tells PM

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | January 09, 2008 18:15 IST

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In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images], Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Kishenchand Advani has requested the government to honour former Prime Minister and senior BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee with the Bharat Ratna, the country's higest civilian honour.

"I would like to propose the name of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee for recognition with the Bharat Ratna this year. His contribution to our national life is so varied and well-known, and sustained over such a long period, that it bears no reiteration. Nevertheless, I would like to highlight ten salient points for your consideration," he stated in his letter.

"He is the first Prime Minister to have led a stable and successful coalition, thus disproving the myth that coalition governments cannot provide stability. He not only preached but practiced the canons of Coalition Dharma. Now that India has entered the era of coalitions, you will agree that Shri Vajpayee's contribution has great and abiding value," stated Advani's letter.

He pointed out that Vajpayee had lent support to Indira Gandhi [Images] during the 1971 India-Pakistan war and he later supported P V Narasimha Rao's economic liberalisation programme.

"It was under Shri Vajpayee's premiership that India became a nuclear weapons power, an act of rare courage that made Indians proud and raised the stature of India internationally. It was under Shri Vajpayee's premiership that India won the Kargil War against Pakistan," Advani wrote while praising the former prime minister's abilities as an administrator.

He reminded Dr Singh that the bilateral talks between India and Pakistan began under the guidance of Vajpayee, who had told Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [Images] that cross border terrorism has to stop before the two countries can begin talks.