JAIPUR: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and other political leaders cutting across party lines today welcomed the central government's decision to confer Bharat Ratna on former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee and freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malviya.
Chief Minister Raje said Malviya was a great educationist and Vajpayee's contribution to the nation as Prime Minister could not be forgotten.
"When I began my political career, I was the minister of state in the Vajpayee government... I can't forget Vajpayee's blessings and able guidance to me," Raje told reporters here.
"We are all thankful to the Government of India for choosing both Malviya and Vajpayee for the nation's highest civilian honour," Raje said.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly R Duddi also appreciated the honour to both Vajpayee and Malviya, saying Vajpayee's tenure as PM was "very nice".
BJP state president Ashok Parnami said Vajpayee was not only a great PM but also a great poet, and it was an honour to the nation.
Parnami announced that BJP will celebrate Vajpayee's birthday tomorrow and various cultural programmes would be organised across the state.