Lucknow, Jan 12 (UNI) The 'Bharat Ratna' issue today took a new twist with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP president Mayawati joining the chorus by demanding that the highest civilian award be conferred on her party founder and Dalit idealogue Kanshiram.
Ms Mayawati pushed forward the demand a day after CPI(M) advocated the name of party patriarch and former Chief Minister of West Bengal Jyoti Basu for the honour.
The demand for political honour of Bharat Ratna started after Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani shot off a missive to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to consider former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's name for the award.
Claiming the contribution of Kanshiram for the uplift and empowerment of Dalits in the country was no less valuable than the names of the leaders already raised in the race for the award, Ms Mayawati argued that he was the fittest case for the honour.
UNI MB/SB HS KN1720