NEW DELHI: Janata Dal (Secular) secretary general Danish Ali said that former President Pranab Mukherjee was chosen for the Bharat Ratna as he had visited the RSS headquarters in Nagpur. He said former chief minister of Odisha late Biju Patnaik and founder of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) late Kanshi Ram were more deserving for the highest civilian award.
"It's very unfortunate. Biju Patnaik and Kanshi Ram should have been conferred the Bharat Ratna before Pranab Mukherjee. He has been awarded just because he visited the RSS headquarters. Pranab Mukherjee and PM Modi have common big industrialist friends, perhaps it also played a role," said Danish Ali.
He also slammed the central government for not conferring Bharat Ratna to Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swamy, who passed away on Monday at the age of 111 years. He alleged that the BJP led central government ignored the late seer’s name as it does not match their ideology.
“If you wanted to give Bharat Ratna, you could have conferred it to Dr Shivakumara Swamy, who did thousand times more social work than Nanaji Deshmukh. Just because it does not match your ideology, you ignored him,” said Danish Ali.
Shivakumara Swami, a highly revered seer and practitioner of the Lingayat-Veerashaiva faith of Lingayatism, passed away at Tumkur in Karnataka on Monday at the age of 111. The pontiff of Sree Siddaganga Matha was being treated for a lung infection which he developed after an operation on December 8. The operation was carried out to treat his liver and bile duct infection.
On Friday, the government announced the list of country's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna which included former President Pranab Mukherjee, Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh and singer Bhupen Hazarika.