Lalu in race for Bharat Ratna?

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Gorakhpur, Jan 21 (UNI) With the names of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, CPI(M) patriarch and former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu and Dalit ideologue late Kanshiram doing the rounds, the name of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad has also been proposed for the country's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna.

Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) today proposed Mr Prasad's name for taking the railways to newer heights.

''Indian Railway was facing mounting loss...Mr Yadav with his untiring efforts brought about a turnaround in the department,'' Uttar Pradesh INTUC unit secretary Avinashpati Tripathi said here.

Taking note of his achievements, the former Bihar CM should be honoured...he is the fittest case for the award, Mr Tripathi underlined.

The 'Bharat Ratna' issue had taken a new twist on January 12 with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati joining the chorus by demanding that the highest civilian award be conferred on her party founder and dalit ideologue Kanshiram.

The demand for political honour of Bharat Ratna started after Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani shot off a missive to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to consider ex-PM Vajpayee's name for the award.

UNI ATI VS PK HT1717

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