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Bharat Ratna for PV Narasimha Rao, MS Swaminathan, Chaudhary Charan Singh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that former Prime Ministers PV Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh, and agronomist MS Swaminathan will be honoured with India’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna. PM Modi made the announcements on social media platform X in a series of posts.  

In a post, PM Modi said, “Delighted to share that our former Prime Minister, Shri PV Narasimha Rao Garu, will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna.” It was during Rao’s tenure as the PM that the famous Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation (LPG) reforms were introduced in 1991.

PM Modi’s post further read, “As a distinguished scholar and statesman, Narasimha Rao Garu served India extensively in various capacities. He is equally remembered for the work he did as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister, and as a Member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly for many years. His visionary leadership was instrumental in making India economically advanced, laying a solid foundation for the country’s prosperity and growth.” 

Modi also said Rao’s tenure as PM was marked by “significant measures that opened India to global markets, fostering a new era of economic development”. “Furthermore, his contributions to India’s foreign policy, language and education sectors underscore his multifaceted legacy as a leader who not only steered India through critical transformations but also enriched its cultural and intellectual heritage,” he said. 

Rao had passed away on December 23, 2004. 

In another post, Modi wrote, “It is a matter of immense joy that the Government of India is conferring the Bharat Ratna on Dr MS Swaminathan Ji, in recognition of his monumental contributions to our nation in agriculture and farmers’ welfare.”

Swaminathan is also known as the “Father of Green Revolution” in India. 

“He played a pivotal role in helping India achieve self-reliance in agriculture during challenging times and made outstanding efforts towards modernising Indian agriculture. We also recognise his invaluable work as an innovator and mentor and encouraging learning and research among several students,” PM Modi said. 

“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.”

Swaminathan passed away on September 28, 2023. 

For Chaudhary Charan Singh, PM Modi said that the award was 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. His dedication to our farmer brothers and sisters and his commitment to democracy during the Emergency is inspiring to the entire nation,” he said. 

Just days ago, Rashtriya Lok Dal demanded that Singh be awarded the Bharat Ratna. Singh, known as a leader of farmers, passed away in 1987. 

Earlier, the Centre also awarded Bharat Ratna to BJP veteran L K Advani and former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur. 

First Published: Feb 09 2024 | 12:52 PM IST

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