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Home > News > PTI

BJP in a fix as Bharat Ratna bid for Vajpayee misfires

January 14, 2008 21:02 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party has found itself in a fix over its demand for the Bharat Ratna for senior leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee, with a sizable section of the political class joining the bandwagon, turning it into a comical affair.

Party leaders now admit in private that Leader of the Opposition Lal Kishen Advani had not bargained for such a scenario, when he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images], seeking the country's highest civilian honour for Vajpayee.

With names of several veterans including noted social reformers like Jyotiba Phule as Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram being floated for posthumous honour, the party feels that it is time to remain silent lest it sends a wrong signal to certain political sections.

A section of the party feels that it was initially meant to be a masterstroke but the shot appeared to have misfired as some half a dozen parties and organisations, including the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Lok Janshakti Party, which are part of the ruling United Progressive Alliance coalition, floating some names.

Having taken the initiative, party leaders are now reluctant to open up on the subject even as the names of Babu Jagjivan Ram, Mohammad Rafi, Jyotiba Phule and Karpoori Thakur joined the demand list on Monday.

"I have no comments to make," was the refrain of BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, when asked about the increasing number of contenders for the honour.

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