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Patel, Azad wouldn’t have got Bharat Rat if ‘family’ was in power: Prasad

New Delhi, Feb 2: Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said that tall leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Maula Abul Kalam Azad would not have been conferred the Bharat Rat if the “family” was in power. He was referring to Nehru-Gandhi family that has consistently been at the helm of the Congress party, barring a few years in-between, since Independence.

“I am sorry to say to my Congress friends, if the family were in power in the 1990s, leaders like Sardar Patel and Maula Azad would not have got the honours they deserve,” Prasad said in the Rajya Sabha while moving the customary motion of thanks to the President for his address to Parliament.

Bhimrao Ambedkar (death 1956), Sardar Patel (d. 1950) and Maula Azad (d. 1958) were posthumously conferred with Bharat Rat in the years 1990, 1991 and 1992 respectively.

Prasad said that although these great leaders of India’s freedom struggle passed away in the 1950s, they were not given the Bharat Rat — the country’s highest civilian honour — for several decades.

“Several people have contributed in building the tion called India. Their ideologies may be differing, but we must recognise their contributions and their sacrifices for this tion,” Prasad said.(IANS)