Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Centre’s decision to confer Bharat Ratna on his political mentor Karpoori Thakur.
The JD(U) president expressed delight that the announcement came on the eve of the former Chief Minister’s 100th birth anniversary.
It will send a positive message among the deprived sections, including Dalits and backward classes, he asserted.
“I have been demanding Bharat Ratna for Karpoori Thakur for long. I am delighted by the announcement. It brings to fruition a long-standing demand of the JD(U)”, said Kumar, whose party has on Wednesday planned a big rally here on the birth centenary.
The chief minister added: “I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this decision”.
Kumar has always been a huge admirer of Thakur and makes it a point to visit the late leader’s ancestral village, re-named “Karpoori Gram”, on his every birth anniversary.
Kumar’s close aide Sanjay Kumar Jha, the state’s Minister for Information and Public Relations Department, also came out with a post on X, highlighting the number of times the JD(U) supremo had earlier raised the demand for “Bharat Ratna”.
“The Honourable Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had written to the Centre, requesting Bharat Ratna for Karpoori Thakur, in 2007, 2017, 2018, 2019 and again in 2021”, Jha said.
Kumar has been the Chief Minister of Bihar since 2005, except for a period of eight months in 2014-15. The longest-serving CM of the state snapped his ties with the BJP less than two years ago.