Even as the controversy surrounding Bharat Ratna refuses to die down, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Wednesday downplayed the raging debate saying that it was not the end — all of the awarding process of the country’s highest civilian award.

Mr. Tewari defended the government’s decision to confer Bharat Ratna on scientist CNR Rao and Sachin Tendulkar.

“I don’t think that anybody dispute the fact that there are others who also deserve (the award). It’s appropriate at that time that others should also be considered,” the Minister said reacting to BJP’s demand to honour former prime minister Vajpayee with the award.

“This is not the end of Bharat Ratna process. This is rather a beginning. There is no controversy in it. I think we should applaud the fact that a sports person is felicitated and if at all other sportsperson are need to be felicitated, government will look at it,” he said.

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