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April 24, 2024

President Murmu Confers Bharat Ratna on BJP Stalwart LK Advani; PM Modi Also Attends | WATCH

President Droupadi Murmu on Sunday conferred Bharat Ratna on Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart and former deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani. President Murmu visited Advani’s house- in Delhi where she honoured him with India’s highest civilian honour.

The formal ceremony was attended by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and the family members of the veteran politician.

This year, the government announced five Bharat Ratna awards, including four others to former prime ministers P V Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan and two-time former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur. Apart from Advani, the other four were awarded posthumously in a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday.

After confirming the award, President Murmu called Advani a doyen of Indian politics, who has served the nation with unwavering dedication and distinction for over seven decades.

“Born in Karachi in 1927, he migrated to India in 1947 against the backdrop of partition. With his vision of cultural nationalism, he toiled hard for decades, across the length and breadth of the country, and brought about a transformation in the socio-political landscape. When the Emergency put India’s democracy at risk, the indefatigable crusader in him helped guard it against authoritarian tendencies,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a post on X.

The post also highlighted the BJP’s leader’s contribution as a parliamentarian and said his emphasis on dialogue enriched parliamentary traditions.

“Whether as Home Minister or as Deputy Prime Minister, he always prioritised national interest above all, earning him respect and admiration from across party lines. His long and tireless struggle for India’s cultural regeneration culminated in the reconstruction of Shri Ram Temple in Ayodhya in 2024. Among the handful of post-Independence political leaders who succeeded in reshaping the national agenda and placing it on the path of development, his accomplishments provide the best articulation of the genius of India and its inclusive traditions,” the post read.

LK Advani–BJP’s tallest veteran leader

Lal Krishna Advani, popularly known as LK Advani, is widely known as one of the tallest leaders of the BJP who scripted the party’s rise from oblivion to prominence. It was after his Rath Yatra in the 1990s that the BJP was catapulted into national politics.

Through the years LK Advani served as the President of the BJP for the longest period since its inception in 1980.

Capping a parliamentary career of nearly three decades, LK Advani was, first, the Home Minister and, later, the Deputy Prime Minister in the Cabinet of Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1999-2004).

After graduating from the DG National College in Hyderabad, he studied law at the Government Law College in Mumbai and he joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and took charge of its activities in Rajasthan in 1947.

When Syama Prasad Mookerjee founded the political wing of the RSS, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) in 1951, LK Advani became the Secretary of the Rajasthan unit and remained so until 1970.

From 1960-1967, he was also with the Organiser, a political journal of the Jana Sangh where he worked as Assistant Editor. After 1970 he moved closer to the centre of all political action in the country and joined the Delhi unit of the party.

In 1970 he became a member of the Rajya Sabha and held the seat till 1989. He was elected President of the BJS and continued at the helm until 1977 after which he resigned from the post after his appointment as the Information and Broadcasting Minister in the coalition Janata Party.

During his ministerial tenure, he abolished Press censorship, repealed all anti-Press legislation enacted during the Emergency, and institutionalised reforms to safeguard the freedom of the media.

Following the collapse of the Moraji Desai government and subsequent breakdown of the BJS, a large number of the party’s members — led by LK Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee — formed a new political party, the BJP, in 1980.

To popularise the party and publicise its agenda, LK Advani undertook a series of rath yatras across India in the 1990s. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998, representing Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

Appointed as the Union Home Minister twice in the BJP-led coalition government, LK Advani was named Deputy Prime Minister in 2002. Following his party’s defeat in the general elections of 2004, he became the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

LK Advani ran as his party’s prime ministerial candidate in the 2009 general election and resigned his Cabinet position following the party’s defeat.

(With inputs from IANS)

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