Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that the Centre will be conferring India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna to two former Prime Ministers P.V. Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh and to agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan. The Centre recently conferred Bharat Ratna to veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani.
Announcing the award for former prime ministers, Modi tweeted, “Delighted to share that our former Prime Minister, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao Garu, will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna. As a distinguished scholar and statesman, Narasimha Rao Garu served India extensively in various capacities.” Stressing upon the economic policies during Rao’s regime which opened Indian market to the world, Modi tweeted, “His visionary leadership was instrumental in making India economically advanced, laying a solid foundation for the country's prosperity and growth. Narasimha Rao Garu’s tenure as Prime Minister was marked by significant measures that opened India to global markets, fostering a new era of economic development.”
Talking about Chaudhary Charan Singh, Modi said, “This honour is dedicated to his incomparable contribution to the country. He had dedicated his entire life to the rights and welfare of farmers. Be it the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh or the Home Minister of the country and even as an MLA, he always gave impetus to nation building. He also stood firm against the Emergency.” The Janata Party leader served as PM from July 28, 1979 - January 14, 1980.
Appreciating Swaminathan’s contributions to the field of agriculture, Modi said, “It is a matter of immense joy that the Government of India is conferring the Bharat Ratna on Dr M.S. Swaminathan Ji, in recognition of his monumental contributions to our nation in agriculture and farmers’ welfare. He played a pivotal role in helping India achieve self-reliance in agriculture during challenging times and made outstanding efforts towards modernizing Indian agriculture.”
Modi added that he knew Swaminathan closely and valued his inputs. ”We also recognise his invaluable work as an innovator and mentor and encouraging learning and research among several students. Dr Swaminathan’s visionary leadership has not only transformed Indian agriculture but also ensured the nation’s food security and prosperity. He was someone I knew closely and l always valued his insights and inputs,” he said.