Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati on Friday blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government for ignoring and disrespecting leading Dalit personalities when it came to conferring the top civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna. She reiterated her demand to honour Dalit icon and BSP founder Kanshi Ram with ther Bharat Ratna.
“All the personalities who have been honoured with Bharat Ratna by the present BJP regime are welcomed, but it is not at all appropriate to disrespect and ignore Dalit personalities, especially in this matter. The government should definitely pay attention to this also,” Ms. Mayawati wrote on X.
The former Chief Minister equated the contribution of Kanshi Ram with that of B.R. Ambedkar for the social and economic uplift of the Dalit and underprivileged communities in India. “Baba Saheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar was honoured with the Bharat Ratna after a long wait by the government of VP Singh. After that, the struggle by respected Shri Kanshi Ram ji, the icon of the underprivileged and Dalits, is no less. He should also be honoured with the Bharat Ratna,” added the BSP chief, who had been groomed by the BSP founder as the heir apparent.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that former Prime Ministers Chaudhary Charan Singh and P.V. Narasimha Rao and agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan will be awarded the Bharat Ratna. This year, months before the Lok Sabha polls, the government named five people for Bharat Ratna, including the late socialist icon Karpoori Thakur and veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani.
Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav, on his part, congratulated party workers and farm leaders who made continuous demands for Chaudhary, who had also served as Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister, to be awarded the Bharat Ratna.
“Socialists had also made a demand for Chaudhary Charan Singh ji. Congratulations and best wishes to all those who have received the Bharat Ratna. Congratulations and thanks to all the farmer leaders and parties who had made the demand from time to time,” he said.