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Modi pays tribute to Narasimha Rao, Charan Singh, & M S Swaminathan with Bharat Ratna | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: A decision that bolsters BJP’s image as a party representing national interests and aspirations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced three more names for India’s highest civilian honour, the ‘Bharat Ratna’. This includes former prime ministers P V Narasimha Rao and Charan Singh, alongside Green Revolution pioneer M S Swaminathan.
This comes at the back of honouring former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur, a staunch advocate for the empowerment of backward communities, and L K Advani, a founding member of the BJP credited with shaping its ascent in the 1990s, for the prestigious award.
This year’s announcement marks a record-setting five recipients.
The conferment of the Bharat Ratna upon Rao is viewed as a strategic and calculated political move by the BJP in anticipation of the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Despite playing a pivotal role in India’s economic resurgence, Rao’s strained relationship with the Gandhi family was widely acknowledged. The BJP and Modi have consistently accused the Congress of “neglecting” Rao and failing to commemorate his birth anniversary. A notable incident frequently cited by Congress’ opponents is the refusal to allow Rao’s mortal remains inside the party’s headquarters in 2004, serving as a point of contention against the Congress party.
In recognition of their immense contributions, Modi praised Rao for his transformative economic policies, Singh for his advocacy for farmers, and Swaminathan for his ground-breaking work in agriculture.
Paying tribute to Rao’s extensive service to the nation, Modi emphasized his leadership in various roles, including as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh and as a Union minister. The PM lauded Rao’s vision, which facilitated India’s economic advancement and laid the groundwork for its prosperity. He also acknowledged Rao’s contributions to foreign policy, language, and education, underscoring his multifaceted legacy.
“Delighted to share that our former Prime Minister, Shri PV Narasimha Rao Garu, will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna … 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….” announced Modi on social media.
Singh, a prominent Jat leader from western Uttar Pradesh and a key figure in anti-Congress politics, served as prime minister from 1979-1980. Rao, a Congress leader from Telangana, is celebrated for his tenure as prime minister from 1991-1996, known for his economic reforms.
Modi highlighted Singh’s dedication to democracy and farmers, particularly during the Emergency period imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975.
The honour for Singh comes at a time the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), led by his grandson Jayant Singh is believed to be in talks with the BJP for an alliance for the Lok Sabha polls, expected in April-May. Singh died in 1987.
“It is the good fortune of our government that former Prime Minister of the country Chaudhary Charan Singh is being honored with Bharat Ratna. This honor is dedicated to his incomparable contribution to the country. He had dedicated his entire life to the rights and welfare of farmers…. He also stood firm against the Emergency. His dedication to our farmer brothers and sisters and his commitment to democracy during the Emergency is inspiring to the entire nation,” said Modi on X (formerly Twitter)
Modi expressed joy in conferring the Bharat Ratna upon Swaminathan, praising his monumental contributions to agriculture and farmers’ welfare. Swaminathan’s leadership in achieving agricultural self-reliance and ensuring food security for the nation was highlighted, along with his role as an innovator and mentor.
“… He played a pivotal role in helping India achieve self-reliance in agriculture during challenging times and made outstanding efforts towards modernizing Indian agriculture. 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,” said Modi on Swaminathan on social media as he shared a photo of both greeting each other.
Of the five awards conferred this year, four are posthumous, with Advani, aged 96, being the sole living recipient.

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