Bharat Ratna demanded for Jagjivan Ram

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New Delhi, Jan 20 (UNI) The Bharat Ratna has been demanded for veteran statesman and former rpt former Union Minister Babu Jagjivan Ram to commemorate his exemplary achievements on the occasion of his birth centenary this year.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Babu Jagjivan Ram Smriti Samiti has urged the nation's top civilian award be conferred on the leader, who served the nation in a variety of capacities -- freedom fighter, social leader, administrator and Union Minister -- for over five decades.

''Jagjivan Ram, an illustrious son of our counttry who selflessly provided exemplary services to the people deserves conferment of the Bharat Ratna award posthumously in view of his outstanding services to the country,'' the letter, copies of which have been sent to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, said.

Samiti Chairman Dr O P Maurya pointed out the time was appropriate for the award to be conferred on Babu Jagjivan Ram as 2008 was his 100th birth anniversary.

''Babu Jagjivan Ram has played a major role in the development of the country -- his part in the success of the Green and White Revolutions and his inspired leadership as Defence Minister during the Bangladesh Liberation War -- has made him most eligible to be honoured by the country,'' he said.

It was most lamentable that successive governments had lagged behind in commemorating his immense contribution, Dr Maurya said, adding that Babuji, who steadfastly rose above casteist and communal considerations, was an appropriate role model for the country in the present time.

This is the second demand for conferment of the award to the veteran leader, with Union Steel Minister Ramvilas Paswan already having suggested his name among the three he suggested for the award.

UNI VD KD AS1329

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