Veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani on Saturday (3 February) expressed his gratitude while accepting the Bharat Ratna - India's highest civilian award - conferred on him today.
"With utmost humility and gratitude, I accept the 'Bharat Ratna' that has been conferred on me today. It is not only an honour for me as a person, but also for the ideals and principles that I strove to serve throughout my life to the best of my ability," Advani said in an official statement, Hindustan Times reported.
“Ever since I joined Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as its volunteer…. I have sought reward in only thing - in dedicated and selfless service of my beloved country in whatever task life assigned to me…” he added.
Advani had played a pivotal role in the Ram Mandir movement in 1990s that shaped the polity of the country in the following years.
The veteran BJP leader's Rath Yatra advocating for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya in the early 1990s brought the party to national prominence.
He later served as India's home minister and deputy prime minister in the former PM Vajpayee led NDA government.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Advani's name for the Bharat Ratna, calling it an "emotional moment" for him.
"I am very happy to share that Shri LK Advani Ji will be conferred the Bharat Ratna. I also spoke to him and congratulated him on being conferred this honour," PM Modi said in a post on X.
"The conferring of the Bharat Ratna on him is a very emotional moment for me. I will always consider it my privilege that I got countless opportunities to interact with him and learn from him," PM Modi added.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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