New Delhi, Nov 17: Soon after the Centre announced that the Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and the eminent scientist professor C N R Rao will be awarded with the India's highest civilian award "Bharat Ratna", the BJP again raised voice on its long-pending demand that the party's veteran leader and country's former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee should also be conferred with the honour.
According to reports, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday questioned that Why is Bharat Ratna not given to Atal Bihari Vajpayee?
Prasad's demand to ask for Bharat Ratna came when he was addressing a rally in Chattisgarh capital, Raipur. He reportedly said, "I respect Sachin Tendulkar, but why hasn't Atal Bihari Vajpayee been awarded Bharat Ratna."
Conferring the Bharat Ratna to Vajpayee is a long pending demand of BJP.
While pitching for Bharat Ratna to Vajpayee, Prasad also said, "Sardar Patel was a national hero, why did he get Bharat Ratna after 41 years? Even Mulana Azad got it much later."
The demand for conferring the Bharat Ratna to Vajpayee has been made on some earlier occasions as well.
Another BJP leader Yashwant Sinha had asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to confer Bharat Ratna on Atal Bihari Vajpayee this Republic Day.
In 2010, BJP president Rajnath Singh had said, "The country can never forget Mr. Vajpayee's contribution to parliamentary democracy. Therefore, I humbly request the government to honour him with the Bharat Ratna."
While describing Vajpayee as a 'staunch patriot and great scholar', Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also demanded Bharat Ratna for him.
He said, "Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee should be conferred Bharat Ratna. He is a leader who is cynosure of every eye. Vajpayee ji dwells in the hearts of country's people. He still rules over people's heart."