Former Indian deputy PM LK Advani conferred Bharat Ratna
After Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that former Indian deputy Prime Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart Lal Krishna Advani would be conferred with the country's highest civilian award - the Bharat Ratna - political leaders from across party lines greeted him and expressed delight at it.
Advani said that Bharat Ratna is not only an honour for him but for the ideals and principles he strove for in life to the best of his abilities. In a statement, Advani said he accepts the 'Bharat Ratna' with utmost humility.
"With utmost humility and gratitude, I accept the 'Bharat Ratna' that has been conferred on me today. It is not only an honour for me as a person, but also for the ideals and principles that I strove to serve throughout my life to the best of my ability," he said in the statement.
"Ever since I joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as its volunteer at the age of 14, I have sought reward in only one in dedicated and selfless service to my beloved country in whatever task life assigned to me. What has inspired my life is the motto 'idam-na-"'mama"--'This life is not mine, my life is for my nation'," he added.
He also expressed thanks to the President and PM Modi.
"My sincere thanks to President Droupadi Murmuji and Prime Minister Narendra Modiji for bestowing this honour on me. May our great country progress to the pinnacle of 'greatness and glory," he said.
BJP National President JP Nadda extended greetings to Advani and thanked PM Modi following the mega announcement.
In an exclusive conversation with ANI, Nadda said that the announcement instils a sense of delight in party workers across the country.
"Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modiji announced the conferring of the 'Bharat Ratna' on our senior and veteran leader, Lal Krishna Advaniji. The announcement instils a sense of delight in us," said Nadda.
"Advaniji is one of the leaders who dedicated his life to the nation and worked for the 'Jana Sangh' and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with a sense of patriotism. The Bharatiya Janata Party, during its tenure in the past few years, has witnessed many ups and downs. But Advaniji has been the leader who nurtured the party even in adverse conditions," he added.
AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also extended his wishes to LK Advani and prayed for his long life.
"Many congratulations and best wishes to senior leader Lal Krishna Advani ji on the announcement of the Bharat Ratna award. I pray to God that he always remains healthy and lives long," the AAP convenor posted on X.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar said that LK Advani has made a valuable contribution to the development of the country.
It is significant to note that Advani is also one of the key figures in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. He was the BJP president when the BJP adopted a resolution on 'Ram temple' in Ayodhya in its 1989 executive meeting.
Advani, a true devotee of Lord Rama, led the 'Rath Yatra' from Gujarat's Somnath to Ayodhya in 1990, which changed the fate and picture of the movement. Among those accompanying Advani was Narendra Modi, then the Gujarat BJP's general secretary and in charge of the Yatra in Somnath.
The Yatra aimed to intensify the demand for the Ram Temple, which years later, was inaugurated last month.