File photo: Congress leader and former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat.
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Rawat said, “Sonia Gandhi and Mayawati made immense contribution towards women empowerment.”

File photo: Congress leader and former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat.
File photo: Congress leader and former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat.

Congress national general secretary and former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat demanded the government of India to confer Bharat Ratna to Congress national president Sonia Gandhi and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati.

Rawat made the demand by taking to social media wherein he said that “Sonia Gandhi and Mayawati made immense contribution towards women empowerment.”

“Both Sonia Gandhi and Mayawati are eminent politicians. One may agree or disagree with Gandhi’s politics but can’t deny her tremendous contribution in woman empowerment and public service. Today, she is considered as an admirable image of womanhood in India,” said Rawat.

“Similarly, Mayawati has raised the voice of the oppressed and the exploited, apart from instilling a sense of belief in them. The government of India should honour them by conferring Bharat Ratna to both this year,” he said.

The state BSP leadership has, however, termed his demand as a “tactic to befool public.”

“His demand is just a tactic to befool the public and nothing more than that. Erstwhile Congress governments failed to confer the highest honour to Dalit icon Babasaheb Ambedkar. It was only conferred after BSP founder Kashiram Sahu and other BSP leaders, including Mayawati raised the demand,” said Gautam.

He added, “We have been demanding the same honour for Kashiram Sahu also but when Congress was in power it didn’t pay any heed to it. Now, when they are not in power they are making such demands.”

The state BJP also countered Rawat’s demand of Bharat Ratna for Sonia Gandhi, saying, Rawat wants to “set a wrong precedent by awarding country’s highest honour to someone who is facing court cases.”

“By conferring Bharat Ratna to Sonia Gandhi, does Rawat want that the honour should be given to someone who is on bail? What sort of precedent he wants to set by putting such a demand? It will never happen,” said Devendra Bhasin, BJP state vice-president.


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