Telangana’s top leaders hail Bharat Ratna award to former PM PV Narasimha Rao

The Union government announced the Bharat Ratna to MS Swaminathan, and former prime ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Charan Singh on 9 February.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Feb 09, 2024 | 5:34 PMUpdatedFeb 09, 2024 | 5:35 PM

Chief Minister Revanth Reddy pays tribute to former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao. (X)

On Friday, 9 February, Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Information Technology Minister Sridhar Babu, as well as BRS president and former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao and former ministers of the BRS, united to hail the announcement of former prime minister late PV Narasimha Rao being conferred the Bharat Ratna — the country’s highest civilian award.

Revanth Reddy posted on X, “It is a matter of pride that our son of Telangana, former prime minister, financial genius and multilingual PV Narasimha Rao, who has raised the glory of the Telugu nation to the, sky has received the Bharat Ratna. As children of Telangana, this is the moment when all our hearts are filled with joy. Also happy to see that former prime minister Charan Singh, LK Advani, Karpoori Thakur, and eminent agronomist MS Swaminathan are receiving the Bharat Ratna.”

Recalling the stellar contributions made by Narasimha Rao to the nation’s development, Deputy Chief Minister Vikramarka said in a statement that the conferring of the Bharat Ratna to the former prime minister was a matter of pride for Telangana and the Congress.

“The late PV Narasimha Rao dedicated himself to transforming India into a global economic powerhouse through pioneering economic reforms and globalisation efforts. Despite initial scepticism, his reforms laid the foundation for India’s emergence as the world’s fourth-largest economy today,” said Vikramarka.

He also recognised MS Swaminathan, who dedicated his life to addressing the hunger crisis in the world’s most populous nation.

Renowned for his contributions to agriculture, he stands as an exemplar for all agronomists, pioneering high-yielding varieties in rice and wheat cultivation, thus catalysing the green revolution, Vikramarka said.

Former prime minister Charan Singh, a stalwart who championed farmers’ causes and voiced their concerns, was rightfully recognised with the Bharat Ratna, Vikramarka said.

His legacy of service, spanning roles as chief minister and prime minister, has left an indelible mark on the nation. This prestigious award serves as an inspiration to leaders who uphold principles and advocate for the rights of farmers, he remarked.

Minister for IT Industries and Legislative Affairs D Sridhar Babu expressed his delight at the Union government’s decision to confer the Bharat Ratna upon Telangana’s own — a former prime minister, architect of economic reforms, and multilingual poet — PV Narasimha Rao.

Reflecting on Rao’s tenure as the prime minister, the Congress has long advocated for his recognition with the Bharat Ratna, stated Babu and added, with the Union government’s announcement, PV Narasimha Rao’s enduring contributions are duly acknowledged.

Narasimha Rao, who commenced his political journey from the Manthani constituency, ascended to the highest office in the nation, he said.

“Beginning as an MLA in Manthani, a seat previously held by my father Sripada Rao, my journey has come full circle as I also serve as an MLA from the same constituency,” Sridhar Babu said.

He emphasised that Narasimha Rao’s Bharat Ratna honour was a source of pride for not only the people of Manthani but also the Telugu-speaking populace.

Also Read: No Bharat Ratnas between 2020 to 2023 but 5 so far in 2024

BRS leaders react to honour

K Chandrashekar Rao said that the Bharat Ratna to Narasimha Rao, a son of the soil, was a respect given to the people of Telangana.

“I thank the Union government for conferring the Bharat Ratna on PV Narasimha Rao, respecting the demand made by the BRS,” he said in a release.

Former ministers KT Rama Rao, Harish Rao, and MLC K Kavitha added that the BRS was pleased to see the Union government recognising former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao with the Bharat Ratna. They extended gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making this decision.

In a post on X, KTR said, “We have persistently urged the Union government for this honor since the centenary celebrations of PVNR, which were conducted by the Telangana government under the leadership of K Chandrashekar Rao. [sic]”

Congress leaders welcome move

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday said that she “welcomes” the announcement of conferring the Bharat Ratna to former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao.

When asked about the Bharat Ratna announcements, specifically for Rao, Sonia Gandhi in a short reply said, “I welcome them… why not.”

AICC chief Mallikarjun Kharge also welcomed the Union government’s decision to honour Narasimha Rao, Charan Singh, and MS Swaminathan.

In a post on X he said, “On the behalf of Indian National Congress, we welcome the Bharat Ratna being conferred to Shri P V Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh and Dr MS Swaminathan.” He further listed the achievements of all three men and the value they brought to India.