A Mumbai based lawyer, Jay Sayta, has written to the President of India demanding a Bharat Ratna for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the highest civilian award in India.
In his letter, Sayta urges the President to bestow Prime Minister Modi with the Bharat Ratna for ‘working tirelessly for transforming the lives of all Indians and lifting millions of citizens out of poverty through social welfare schemes’.
He lists out the various initiatives started by the government under PM Modi’s leadership which has helped towards nation building. Sayta also points out the international awards won by Prime Minister Modi like ‘Champions of the Earth’, ‘Seoul Peace Prize’ and ‘King Abdulaziz Sash’, Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honour.
Further, he points out that Jawaharlal Nehru got Bharat Ratna while still in office in 1955. And Indira Gandhi received Bharat Ratna while still in office in 1971. He pointed out that six prime ministers for the Bharat Ratna earlier.
He said that the President acts as per the advice of the Council of Ministers. Article 74(1) of the Constitution mentions this provision. However, in 1955, the then President, Dr Rajendra Prasad had conferred the title to Prime Minister Nehru. Dr Prasad had done so using his discretionary powers and without consulting the Cabinet.
Thus a Bharat Ratna for Narendra Modi could also be given, even if Prime Minister Modi himself or his cabinet don’t come up with any recommendation, the lawyer suggests.
Last year, Prime Minister Modi had announced that unlike in past, anyone can now recommend names for the Padma awards. Earlier, nominees for Padma Awards could only be recommended by government employees.