Vajpayee to be conferred Bharat Ratna at 5 pm today

Vajpayee to be conferred Bharat Ratna at 5 pm today

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be conferred the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian honour, on Friday evening by President Pranab Mukherjee at Vajpayee's residence, with Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also set to attend the ceremony.

Several top cabinet ministers are to attend the function at 5 p.m.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday expressed happiness at Vajpayee being conferred the Bharat Ratna.

"It is a moment of pride and happiness that Bharat Ratna will be conferred upon Atalji today (Friday). He is loved and admired by everyone," he tweeted.

Earlier on Friday, speaking to reporters, the home minister said Vajpayee is not only just an Indian statesman but an international icon who is respected and loved by everyone.

"Atalji's name evokes a sense of respect and reverence in every heart," he said, adding that it is a matter of immense happiness for the whole country that Vajpayee is being bestowed with the Bharat Ratna.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: "Happy that Atal Ji is being conferred Bharat Ratna today. A truly great statesman who richly deserves honour. I wish him well..."

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted his congratulations: "Heartiest congratulations to our revered mentor & beloved Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji for being conferred with 'Bharat Ratna' today."

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: "My heartfelt congratulations to Vajpayee Sahib & his family on the day he receives the Bharat Ratna. It was an honour to serve under him."

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