Bharat Ratna fiasco: Shiv Sena takes on both Mitra & Sen

Mumbai, July 26: The Shiv Sena on Friday deprecated BJP MP Chandan Mitra's demand for stripping Nobel laureate Amartya Sen of Bharat Ratna over his comments on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi but advised the seasoned economist "not to poke his nose" into politics.

"Sen is an economist of international repute and such demands (stripping him of Bharat Ratna) shouldn't be made by his detractors," Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana.

"Amartya Sen is an economist, but the poor of the country wonder what exactly he does. The economy of the country is in a bad state, prices are soaring and poverty is on the rise. It is not Modi who has done this and despite being a Nobel laureate, Amartya Sen has no medicine for this," he said.

"If people ask Sen to first do his work properly and refrain from poking his nose in politics, what reply does he have," Uddhav said, adding, "Amartya Sen's greatness cannot be denied. The demand to strip him of Bharat Ratna is also not right. Everyone should maintain their limits."

Sen had recently said he does not want Modi to become India's prime minister as he did not have secular credentials.

The prominent economist had also criticised Modi's model of governance.

Following this, BJP's Rajya Sabha member and journalist Mitra had demanded stripping Sen of the Bharat Ratna - the country's highest civilian honour.

"Is Sen even a voter in India? Next NDA government must strip him of Bharat Ratna," Mitra had tweeted, triggering a storm of protest from BJP's opponents. The BJP also distanced itself from Mitra's comment.

The Nobel laureate, while responding to Mitra's demand, said he was ready to return the award if former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had conferred it on him, asked him to.


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