In an address to Shiv Sena workers, Uddhav Thackeray, the Chief of Shiv Sena's Uttara Bharatiya Team (UBT), made startling allegations regarding the Bharat Ratna awards, suggesting political motivations behind the recognition of former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur.
Thackeray asserted, "Earlier there were rules on how many Bharat Ratna could be awarded and to whom and when they could be awarded. PM Narendra Modi is awarding it to whoever comes to his mind. I am not saying that whoever has been conferred with the Bharat Ratna is wrong. They need votes in Bihar, that's why Bharat Ratna has been awarded to Karpuri Thakur."
He highlighted the historical opposition by the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, precursor to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), towards Thakur's decision to allocate 26 per cent reservation to backward classes in government jobs.
Thackeray further alleged, "But now the BJP wants votes in the Lok Sabha polls from Bihar so announced the Bharat Ratna for him posthumously. I am happy his (Thakur's) work is being acknowledged after so many years."
Expressing skepticism over the BJP's intentions, Thackeray referenced the nomination of Dr. S Swaminathan for the Bharat Ratna, contrasting it with the government's failure to execute recommendations from a commission led by Swaminathan aimed at increasing farm income.
"People can see through this hollowness," Thackeray remarked, hinting at a perceived gap between political gestures and substantive action.
The Union government recently announced five names for the Bharat Ratna, including former Prime Ministers P V Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, agricultural scientist Dr. S Swaminathan, Karpoori Thakur, and BJP stalwart L K Advani. This marks the highest number of Bharat Ratnas announced in a single year since 1999.
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