Former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat Demands Bharat Ratna For Sonia GandhiFormer Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat (@harishrawatcmuk/Twitter)

Seasoned Congressman and former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat has asked the Narendra Modi-led government to confer UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Uttar Pradesh’s ex-CM Mayawati with the prestigious ‘Bharat Ratna’ honour.

Rawat has said that Gandhi and the BSP supremo have immensely contributed to women’s empowerment and public service in the country.

“Both Sonia Gandhi and Mayawati are eminent politicians. One may agree or disagree with Gandhi’s politics but can’t deny her tremendous contribution in woman empowerment and public service. Today, she is considered as an admirable image of womanhood in India,” the Congress’ national general secretary was quoted by Hindustan Times.

He further lauded Mayawati for championing the voice of the oppressed as Rawat claimed, “Similarly, Mayawati has raised the voice of the oppressed and the exploited, apart from instilling a sense of belief in them. The government of India should honour them by conferring Bharat Ratna to both this year.”

Dr Devendra Bhasin, BJP’s state unit vice-president in Uttarakhand, asserted that the former CM was looking to set a wrong example by advocating the Bharat Ratna for Sonia Gandhi, someone who is facing court charges and is out on bail. “By conferring Bharat Ratna to Sonia Gandhi, does Rawat want that the honour should be given to someone who is on bail? What sort of precedent he wants to set by putting such a demand? It will never happen,” Bhasin was quoted in the report.

BSP politician Ramji Gautam too refuted Rawat’s appeals as he mentioned that Congress governments had previously “failed to confer the highest honour to Dalit icon Babasaheb Ambedkar.” He claimed that Kashiram Sahu and Mayawati’s insistence resulted in Ambedkar being awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously.

“We have been demanding the same honour for Kashiram Sahu also but when Congress was in power it didn’t pay any heed to it. Now, when they are not in power they are making such demands,” Gautam stated.

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