Nitish extols Bharat Ratna for Karpoori Thakur; RJD labels it BJP’s election ploy

| Updated: 24 January, 2024 1:21 pm IST

NEW DELHI: In a significant move, the Centre has posthumously conferred the Bharat Ratna on the late Karpoori Thakur, the former Chief Minister of Bihar, coinciding with the celebration of Thakur’s birth centenary. This recognition underscores his enduring impact on social justice and Indian politics.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed his satisfaction with the government’s decision, emphasising that bestowing the highest civilian honour on Karpoori Thakur’s 100th birth anniversary would evoke positive sentiments among Dalits and the neglected sections of society.

However, the announcement has triggered diverse political reactions. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) criticised the move, dismissing it as a “political gimmick.”

However, RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari expressed skepticism, questioning the timing of the decision. Tiwari stated, “They are giving him Bharat Ratna now when the elections are near. Where were they for nine years? This happened due to pressure by Lalu Yadav who has been demanding Bharat Ratna for Karpoori Thakur for a long time.”

On the other hand, Chirag Paswan, the president of the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), expressed gratitude to the Government of India and the Prime Minister for fulfilling a long-pending demand of the people. Paswan remarked, “Bharat Ratna for Karpoori Thakur had been a long-pending demand of the people of Bihar as well as the entire country. Today, the PM honoured that demand of the people.

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Born in 1924 in the Nai Samaj, a backward section of society, Karpoori Thakur emerged as a dedicated leader committed to uplifting the marginalised. During his tenure as the CM, he ardently fought against unfair treatment and inequality in society. Thakur directed positive actions towards giving a voice and opportunities to people who were poor, oppressed, exploited, or deprived. His efforts resulted in significant improvements in education, job opportunities, and the well-being of farmers.

Karpoori Thakur achieved an unbroken streak of electoral success since his first victory in 1952. Serving as the CM in two separate terms, he made substantial contributions to the state’s governance. Commencing his political journey with the Praja Socialist Party, he later aligned with the Janata Party.

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