Bharatiya Janata Party veteran Murli Manohar Joshi met his senior colleague Lal Krishna Advani at his residence in Delhi on Saturday evening to congratulate the latter on receiving the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award . Murli Manohar Joshi said it was a great luck to be able to work with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Nanaji Deshmukh and LK Advani, news agency ANI reported.
“I am deeply happy to see Lal Krishna Advani ji honored with Bharat Ratna. I congratulate him. It is my good fortune to have the opportunity to work with Bharat Ratna Atal Ji, Bharat Ratna Nanaji Deshmukh and Bharat Ratna Advani Ji for more than 60 years “said Murli Manohar Joshi, 90.
Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that BJP veteran LK Advani, 96, will be appointed as a member of the Bharat Ratna. Political leaders of all parties also greeted Advani.
Modi, however, criticized the Congress and said Advani persistently fought all his life to free India’s democracy from the control of one party and one family.
This is the seventh Bharat Ratna awarded by the Modi government, since it came to power in 2014. The list also includes Karpoori Thakur, Madan Mohan Malviya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Pranab Mukherjee, Bhupen Hazarika and Nanaji Deshmukh.
Advani said that the Bharat Ratna is not only an honor for him but also for the ideals and principles he fought for in his life to the best of his ability.
In a statement, the BJP stalwart said he accepts ‘Bharat Ratna’ with utmost humility. “With utmost humility and gratitude, I accept the ‘Bharat Ratna’ conferred upon me today. It is not only an honor for me as a person, but also for the ideals and principles that I strived to serve throughout my life to the best of my ability,” Advani said in the statement.
How other leaders reacted
BJP national president JP Nadda greeted Advani and thanked Modi for the announcement. Nadda said the announcement instils a sense of joy among party workers across the country.
“Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modiji announced the award of ‘Bharat Ratna’ to our veteran leader Lal Krishna Advaniji. The announcement fills us with a sense of delight,” ANI quoted Nadda as saying.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh also thanked the Prime Minister for granting Bharat Ratna to Advani and said the BJP doyen has strengthened the country and democracy through his parliamentary and administrative capabilities.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also congratulated Advani and said he was an inspiration for everyone.
AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also extended his wishes to Advani and prayed for his long life.
Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar said Advani has made valuable contribution to the development of the country.
“Former Deputy Prime Minister and senior leader of India LK Advani is delighted to receive Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour. He has made a valuable contribution to the development of the country. Heartiest congratulations,” Pawar posted on x.
(With contributions from agencies)