The Narendra Modi-led NDA government avoided a direct reply on whether it has taken steps to confer Bharat Ratna on Veer Savarkar but said recommendations for the country's highest civilian award are received regularly from various quarters.
Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai told Lok Sabha that no formal recommendation for giving Bharat Ratna is necessary. "Recommendations for award of Bharat Ratna is received regularly from various quarters. However, no formal recommendation for conferment of Bharat Ratna is necessary. The decisions regarding Bharat Ratna are taken from time to time," he said in a written reply.
He was replying to a question of BJP member from Maharashtra Gopal Chinayya Shetty on whether the government has taken steps to confer Bharat Ratna on the "great revolutionary, historian, social reformer, thinker and litterateur of India Veer Savarkar, who was one of the leading personalities of Indian freedom struggle and a prominent nationalist leader".
The BJP in its manifesto for the recently concluded assembly elections in Maharashtra had promised to confer Bharat Ratna on VD Savarkar.
Savarkar deprived of Bharat Ratna: PM Modi at Maharashtra rally
Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Congress party for "depriving" Savarakar of Bharat Ratna - India's highest civilian honour. Addressing an election rally in Maharashtra's Akola, PM Modi invoked Savarakar and said, "Congress refused to give Bharat Ratna to BR Ambedkar. They are the ones who are insulting Veer Savarkar and now they are against abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir."
(With agency inputs)