Opposition attacks PM Modi for not standing up when President presented Bharat Ratna to Advani

Experts, however, saying that PM Modi was just following the Rashtrapati Bhavan’s protocol.

March 31, 2024 08:30 pm | Updated 08:33 pm IST - New Delhi

President Droupadi Murmu confers Bharat Ratna on veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani at his residence in New Delhi on March 31, 2024. Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks on. Photo: Rashtrapati Bhavan via PTI

President Droupadi Murmu confers Bharat Ratna on veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani at his residence in New Delhi on March 31, 2024. Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks on. Photo: Rashtrapati Bhavan via PTI

The Opposition has alleged on march 31 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi disrespected President Droupadi Murmu by not standing up when Ms. Murmu was presenting the Bharat Ratna to veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani. The Congress said such incidents show that the mentality of Mr. Modi and the BJP is “anti-women and anti-Dalit”.

The Congress said in a statement that the President of the country was standing and PM Modi was sitting. “Once again PM Modi has deliberately insulted the tribal woman President. This is not the first time — when the new Parliament was inaugurated, she was not invited and the President was not seen even in the Pran Pratistha programme of Ram Temple,” the party said.

Congress general secretary and chief spokesman Jairam Ramesh said the action was the gravest disrespect to the President. “The Prime Minister certainly should have been standing,” he said.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, while addressing the INDIA rally, criticised PM Modi’s action. “When the President was conferring Bharat Ratna to Advaniji, Modiji was sitting next to Advaniji but did not even stand in honour of the President,” he alleged.

Experts, however, are saying that Mr. Modi was just following the Rashtrapati Bhavan’s protocol. Ashok Malik, former press secretary to former President Ramnath Kovind, said on X that Rashtrapati Bhavan protocol has the President and recipient both standing, while other guests — including the Vice-President and Prime Minister — are seated. “If the recipient is elderly or indisposed he/she may stay seated. This event did not take place in Rashtrapati Bhavan, but obviously the usual protocol was followed,” he said.

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