AICC general secretary and former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat demanded that the Government of India should confer Bharat Ratna on interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati.
Rawat expressed his demand in a social media post wherein he described Sonia Gandhi and Mayawati as having “sharp” personalities with having made immense contribution towards women empowerment.
“You can agree or disagree with her politics but you cannot rule out the fact that Sonia ji has taken the yardstick of dignity, social devotion and public service of Indian women to a new height,” Rawat said in a tweet in which he tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
गरिमा प्रदान की है, आज उन्हें भारत की नारीत्व का गौरवशाली स्वरूप माना जाता है। सुश्री मायावती जी ने वर्षों से पीड़ित-शोषित लोगों के मन में एक अद्भुत विश्वास का संचार किया है, #भारत_सरकार को चाहिये कि इन दोनों व्यक्तित्वों को इस वर्ष का #भारत_रत्न देकर अलंकृत करें।@narendramodi
— Harish Rawat (@harishrawatcmuk) January 5, 2021
In a subsequent tweet, Rawat further said, “Similarly, Mayawati has fought for the oppressed and the exploited, besides instilling a sense of belief in them. The government of India should honour them by conferring Bharat Ratna to both this year,” he said.
Rawat’s demand for Bharat Ratna a tactic to fool public: BSP
However, Rawat’s demand to confer on Sonia Gandhi and Mayawati the country’s highest civilian award has not gone down well with the state BSP leadership which has termed it a “tactic to befool public”.
“The demand raised by Rawat is nothing but a ruse intended to fool people. The former Congress governments consistently failed in conferring the highest honour on Dalit icon Babasaheb Ambedkar. It was only conferred after BSP founder Kashiram Sahu and other BSP leaders, including Mayawati raised the demand,” BSP leader Gautam said.
He further added that when they demanded the same honour to be bestowed upon Kashiram Sahu when Congress was in power, it did not heed to their demands. “They are making such demands now when they are not in power,” said Gautam.
Rawat is setting a wrong precedent by demanding Bharat Ratna for an out on bail accused: BJP
Rawat’s call for conferring Bharat Ratna on Sonia Gandhi was also countered by the state BJP unit which said that Rawat wanted to set a wrong precedent by awarding the country’s highest honour to someone who is facing court cases.
“By demanding Bharat Ratna for Sonia Gandhi, does Rawat want the honour to be given to someone who is out on bail? What sort of precedent he wants to set by making such a demand? It will never happen,” BJP state vice-president Devendra Bhasin said.