Nitish backs BJP’s demand of Bharat Ratna for Vajpayee

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File photo
File photo

Patna, Nov 18 (PTI) :  Leaving aside acrimony with his former NDA ally BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today backed its demand to bestow the Bharat Ratna on former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“He deserves it. Why should not it be given to him?” Kumar, who served as railway minister in the Vajpayee cabinet, said when asked if he supported Bharat Ratna for the former prime minister.

Kumar, who is the driving force of JD(U), also made a strong case for giving the award to Rammanohar Lohia his ideological guru and Karpoori Thakur, who was chief minister of the state in 1977.

Kumar distanced himself from the statement of party leader Shivanand Tiwari questioning the award to Sachin Tendulkar.

“It is a personal opinion of Tiwari … everybody has an opinion,” he said.

“I welcome the Bharat Ratna given to Sachin Tendulkar who served the country through his extraordinary contribution to the game,” Kumar said.

On comments of scientist CNR Rao who also received the Bharat Ratna that politicians were ‘idiots’, the Chief Minister said that he was an eminent scientist.

“We should talk about his commendable work instead of discussing his comments. I don’t know if he was trapped to make such comments,” he said.

Kumar agreed with the views of Rao that more funds should be earmarked for research work in science and technology.

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