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Bharat Ratna for Vajpayee: Congress cautious
January 09, 2008 23:39 IST
The Congress on Wednesday steered clear of the Bharatiya Janata Party's demand for conferring the Bharat Ratna on former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"We have no view. Bharat Ratna is not conferred due to the views of any political party and the matter is for the concerned committee to decide," said Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed.
To repeated questions on the issue at the All India Congress Committee briefing, Ahmed said, "It is not for us to decide who is fit or unfit. It is for the committee to decide whether anyone is fit for the award."
He replied in a similar vein when asked whether Congress felt that Vajpayee was an outstanding leader.
Asked whether Leader of Opposition L K Advani was playing politics on the issue by writing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] about the matter and not to the concerned committee, Ahmed said, "It is better that Advani should reply to this. If anyone has played politics, then it is deplorable."
He said that the Congress had criticised and supported Vajpayee on a number of issues and also opposed a number of things initiated by him.