NEW DELHI: Lal Krishna Advani, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart, who steered the saffron party into national reckoning with his historic Rath Yatra for Ayodhya's Ram Temple in the early 1990's, has been conferred with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed the news to him when he spoke to the veteran leader on Saturday.
PM Modi took to his official X (formerly known as Twitter) handle to share the news. "I am very happy to share that Shri LK Advani Ji will be conferred the Bharat Ratna. I also spoke to him and congratulated him on being conferred this honour," the post read.
While proclaiming the honour for the veteran leader, PM Modi praised his mentor by saying that LK Advani played an instrumental role in the nation's development. He called him one of the most respected statesmen of India.
“One of the most respected statesmen of our times, his contribution to the development of India is monumental. His is a life that started from working at the grassroots to serving the nation as our Deputy Prime Minister. He distinguished himself as our Home Minister and I&B Minister as well. His Parliamentary interventions have always been exemplary, full of rich insights,” PM Modi said.
Furthermore, the PM said that Advani Ji's decades-long service in public life has been marked by an unwavering commitment to transparency and integrity, setting an exemplary standard in political ethics.
He has made unparalleled efforts towards furthering national unity and cultural resurgence. The conferring of the Bharat Ratna on him is a very emotional moment for me. I will always consider it my privilege that I got countless opportunities to interact with him and learn from him, the PM added.
Meanwhile, LK Advani was born in Karachi and then migrated to India after the Partition. Thereafter, he settled down in Bombay.
He plunged into social life at a tender age of 14 when he joined the RSS. He then dived into political life in 1951 by becoming a member of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, which was founded by BJP icon Syama Prasad Mookerjee. The Jana Sangh was the political precursor to the BJP.