Bharat Ratna For Former PMs Charan Singh, PV Narasimha Rao

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced that former prime ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Charan Singh, and scientist Dr MS Swaminathan will be conferred with the Bharat Ratna. 

Mr Narasimha Rao was the prime minister from 1991 to 1996 and is known to be the man who heralded the economic liberalisation of India. Mr Charan Singh, a champion of workers and farmers’ rights, briefly served as the prime minister in 1979. Dr Swaminathan, a renowned scientist, is known as the architect of India’s green revolution. 

“Delighted to share that our former Prime Minister, Shri PV Narasimha Rao Garu, will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna,” the PM wrote on X.

“As a distinguished scholar and statesman, Narasimha Rao Garu served India extensively in various capacities. He is equally remembered for the work he did as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister, and as a Member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly for many years. His visionary leadership was instrumental in making India economically advanced, laying a solid foundation for the country’s prosperity and growth.”

“It is the good fortune of our government that former Prime Minister of the country Chaudhary Charan Singh is being honoured with Bharat Ratna. This honor is dedicated to his incomparable contribution to the country. He had dedicated his entire life to the rights and welfare of farmers,” the PM announced.

“Be it the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh or the Home Minister of the country and even as an MLA, he always gave impetus to nation-building. He also stood firm against the Emergency. His dedication to our farmer brothers and sisters and his commitment to democracy during the Emergency is inspiring to the entire nation,” PM Modi wrote in a separate post. 

“It is a matter of immense joy that the Government of India is conferring the Bharat Ratna on Dr. MS Swaminathan Ji, in recognition of his monumental contributions to our nation in agriculture and farmers’ welfare. He played a pivotal role in helping India achieve self-reliance in agriculture during challenging times and made outstanding efforts towards modernizing Indian agriculture. We also recognise his invaluable work as an innovator and mentor and encouraging learning and research among several students. Dr. Swaminathan’s visionary leadership has not only transformed Indian agriculture but also ensured the nation’s food security and prosperity. He was someone I knew closely and l always valued his insights and inputs,” the PM added. 

The government had earlier announced the country’s highest civilian honour for BJP veteran LK Advani and former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur.

Mr Narasimha Rao’s career included roles as an agriculturist, advocate, and a prominent political figure. Serving in various capacities, such as Minister of Law and Information, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, and General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee, Rao demonstrated a keen interest in diverse fields. He also had a stint as India’s External Affairs minister. 

Mr Narasimha Rao is widely credited with initiating pivotal economic reforms and appointing Manmohan Singh as Finance Minister during a challenging economic period. His six-time parliamentary tenure concluded with his death at the age of 83 in 2004.

Mr Charan Singh, India’s fifth prime minister, was not only an Indian politician but also a freedom fighter, aligning himself with Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent struggle against British rule. Hee founded the Lokdal party in 1980 and s often hailed as the “Champion of India’s peasants”.

Dr Swaminathan made extraordinary contributions to Indian agriculture, earning him the title “Father of Economic Ecology.” As a global leader of the Green Revolution, Mr Swaminathan played a key role in introducing high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice, saving India from famine-like conditions in the 1960s. 

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