Rajnath backs Advani's proposal for Bharat Ratna for Vajpayee

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Kochi, Jan 12 (UNI) Backing senior BJP leader L K Advani's proposal that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee be conferred the 'Bharat Ratna', party President Rajnath Singh today said Mr Vajpayee was well respected across the political spectrum.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Rajnath Singh took a dig at UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, stating that Mr Vajpayee had never in his long political career ever used terms like ''maut ke saudagar'' (merchants of death) against any political leader.

Stating that it was for the government to take a decision on Mr Advani's suggestion, Mr Rajnath Singh said the BJP fully supported his proposal.

Asked about the CPM's demand for the highest civilian honour to be conferred on veteran leader Jyoti Basu and UP Chief Minister Mayawati's demand for the same for the late Kanshi Ram, BJP Secretary Balbir Punj said ''if an opinion poll is held on the issue, the people of India will give you the answer.'' UNI ARC SK1800

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