Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi Sunday called for a Bharat Ratna for Ram Vilas Paswan, echoing a demand made by the LJP founder’s younger brother and Hajipur MP Pashupati Kumar Paras a day earlier.
The statement by the former Bihar CM, an SC leader, has left his NDA coalition partner JD(U) in a spot. The party is treading carefully on its stand on the country’s highest honour for Paswan — a prominent Dalit leader whose party had walked out of the coalition.
“Jitan Ram Manjhi has already written to the President (Ram Nath Kovind) to bestow the Bharat Ratna on the late Ram Vilas Paswan. He will soon meet the President as well as the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) to press for the demand,” HAM(S) spokesperson Danish Rizwan said.
JD(U) said that although no discussion on the issue had taken place at the party forum yet, it would support any honour for Paswan.
National spokesperson KC Tyagi said: “From the party forum, we have already requested the Centre to give the Bharat Ratna to Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and Karpoori Thakur. But if the late Paswan gets any honour, we welcome it.”
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