New Delhi, March 2 : George Fernandes, the former Defence Minister, writing in the recently revived second issue of the journal, the Other Side, says that there is a danger of Bharat Ratna Award being available at a price.
George Fernandes says: "Looking at the way people have been angling for these awards, no one should be surprised if in the coming times these would be available at a price. Even members of the Parliament will begin queuing up for them. We need to make efforts to see that such a time does not come."
George says he has always been against these awards. When he was a minister in the Morarji Desai government in 1977 on day one of the Cabinet meeting he had voiced his opposition to these awards.
"On day one of the Cabinet meetings, I took up this issue and requested Morarji Desai to put an end to these awards. The Prime Minister very happily agreed to my request and put it before the Cabinet and had it accepted and that was where it remained for many, many years. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also in that Cabinet and he too accepted this," George Fernandes wrote in the Other Side, a journal of socialist thought and action."
It was revived when the Congress government came to power. The matter was taken to the court by the government and the court approved its revival.