Nehru, Indira gave Bharat Ratna to themselves: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister

Madhya Pradesh CM Mohan Yadav. File.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav on Monday said that the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and first female PM Indira Gandhi gave the highest civilian award of the Bharat Ratna to themselves. 

“This is the history of Bharat Ratna that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru-ji got himself recommended and got the Bharat Ratna while he was still alive. Indira Gandhi-ji too got herself recommended [for the Bharat Ratna] in 1971. It is the honourable PM [Narendra Modi] who is finding eligible people and giving them Bharat Ratna,” Mr. Yadav, responding to Congress MLA and the Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Umang Singhar’s remarks. 

Mr. Yadav was speaking during the motion of thanks to Governor Mangubhai Patel’s address in the State Legislative Assembly. 

Mr. Yadav thanked Mr. Modi for awarding the Bharat Ratna to BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani, former PMs P.V. Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur, and ‘Green Revolution’ pioneer M.S. Swaminathan. “I specially thank the Prime Minister [for giving the award to Narasimha Rao] because his [Rao’s] son and grandson yearned for it from the Congress, but it did not pay attention. Nobody can forget his [Rao’s] contribution,” he said.

Editorial | Honour and exception: On the Bharat Ratna and its recipients

“This is very unfortunate,” the CM said. 

Interrupting the Chief Minister, Mr. Singhar said that while only three persons could be awarded the Bharat Ratna in a year according to the Constitution, the BJP-led Central government had given it to five.

“You are giving it to five-six people, and now elections will come and you will give more of them away. This is not Bharat Ratna but ‘Modi ratna’,” Mr. Singhar said, drawing strong protests from the Treasury Benches. 

Mr. Yadav then made his remarks on Nehru and Gandhi in response to Mr. Singhar’s comments. 

Meanwhile, State Deputy CM Jagdish Devda, who also holds the Finance portfolio, on Monday presented the interim Budget (vote on account) of approximately ₹1.45 lakh crore for the financial year 2024-25. 

While a full fiscal Budget of more than ₹3 lakh crore is likely to be presented in July this year, the interim Budget is for the four-month period from April 1 to July 31, and the amount allocated in it will help the government manage its expenditure for various ongoing schemes. 

No new schemes or proposals were announced by Mr. Devda in the interim Budget. The remaining amount from the interim Budget will be merged with the full Budget. 

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