'No surprise if Godse is awarded Bharat Ratna'

'No surprise if Godse is awarded Bharat Ratna'

“It wouldn’t be surprising even if Nathuram Godse, who killed Mahatma Gandhi, is awarded Bharat Ratna tomorrow,” said Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya on the honour being conferred on former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and the late Madan Mohan Malviya.

He was speaking to mediapersons after reviewing the construction work of a medical college in Koppal on Wednesday. The minister, along with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, arrived in the district to review development works and inaugurate various works in Kushtagi taluk. To a question whether he opposed the Centre’s decision to honour Vajpayee and Malviya, Anjaneya declined a comment. Asked whether he welcomed the decision, he said, “Why would I welcome it?”

Earlier, speaking to reporters, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah welcomed the decision to award Bharat Ratna to Vajpayee. “Vajpayee is also a freedom fighter and has served the nation. Bharat Ratna is awarded to those who have rendered yeoman service to the country. Accordingly, it has been awarded to Vajpayee,” he said.

Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru, BJP spokesperson Suresh Kumar said Anjaneya’s comments were distasteful. “It is unbecoming of a minister to speak like that....If he is not aware of political history, then he should learn.”

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