`Posthumous award will be an honour for entire country'
TDP to raise issue in ParliamentCredits NTR for first statue of late leader in countryBangaru pays rich tributes
HYDERABAD: A demand for conferring the Bharat Ratna award posthumously on former Deputy Prime Minister Jagjivan Ram was made by several leaders at a meeting to mark his 99th birth anniversary here on Wednesday.
The official celebration of the occasion was held near the statue of Jagjivan Ram at Nizam College.
Foremost among those who voiced the demand was Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu. Speaking after garlanding the statue, Mr. Naidu said the award to Jagjivan Ram would be an honour for the entire country. His party would raise the issue in Parliament, he said hoping that the award would be conferred on him before his centenary celebrations.
Mr. Naidu recalled that it was former Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao who conceived the idea of having the first statue of Jagjivan Ram in the country here. The subsequent Telugu Desam Government followed it up by constructing Jagjivan Ram Bhavan at Saroornagar in the city. He demanded one more such building.
Former BJP president Bangaru Laxman said the weaker sections were longing for Bharat Ratna to Jagjivan Ram. He described the late leader as the key person for the formation of Bangladesh.
Social Welfare Commissioner R.M. Gonela, was among those who addressed the official meeting. He said it was not too late to confer Bharat Ratna on Jagjivan Ram.
He added that it was a big question mark whether Jagjivan Ram could not become Prime Minister because he was a Dalit.
Social Welfare Minister D.S. Redya Naik garlanded the statue but left without addressing the meeting.