Vajpayee, Malaviya to get Bharat Ratna

Vajpayee, Malaviya to get Bharat Ratna

By: || Updated: 24 Dec 2014 06:35 AM


New Delhi:  A day ahead of their birth anniversaries, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the late freedom fighter-educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya were named for India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna.

"The president has been pleased to award Bharat Ratna to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthmously) and to Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee," a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said.

Incidentally, both Vajpayee and Malaviya were born Dec 25 -- the former in 1924 and the latter in 1861. Their birthday has also been declared as "Good Governance Day" by the government.

The honour for Gwalior-born Vajpayee, who was the country's prime minister first in 1996 and then again from 1998 to 2004, came after years of demands from people across party affiliations and the public at large.

The 90-year-old veteran politician had re-started the Bharatiya Jan Sangh as the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980 and was the first head of government from outside the Congress party to serve a full five-year term.