There has been a growing demand from various quarters for awarding Vajpayee and hockey legend late Major Dhyan Chand, after the Centre recently bestowed the highest civilian honour on master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.
"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Tendulkar deserved Bharat Ratna award and he got it. But, hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand was also a God for the people at that time and specially for hockey, and he should be given the country's highest civilian honour," Chouhan told PTI in an interview.
Chouhan bats for Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand
When asked if there should be more transparency or a committee for electing a person for Bharat Ratna on the lines of selection made for constitutional posts, Chouhan said, "I don't think that for doing everything you need a committee of that nature. Government on its own can do many things, but I feel it is true that there is a need for some more transparency or some laid down standards for selecting a person for such awards."
The BJP recently raised the demand for awarding Bharat Ratna to Vajpayee. Even Union Ministers Farooq Abdullah, M Pallam Raju and Shashi Tharoor, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar among others supported it.
The clamour has also grown louder for awarding hockey magician Dhyan Chand, whose stick led to India winning gold medals in three successive Olympics Amsterdam (1928), Los Angeles (1932) and Berlin (1936).