The Home Ministry on Tuesday said “no formal recommendation for granting Bharat Ratna is required” while responding to a question raised by BJP MP Gopal Shetty in Lok Sabha about the steps taken by the government to confer Bharat Ratna on Veer Savarkar.
“Recommendations for Bharat Ratna are routinely received from several quarters, however, no formal recommendation for this award is necessary. The decision regarding the award of Bharat Ratna is taken from time to time,” said Nityanand Rai from the Ministry of Home Affairs in a reply.
The BJP, in its manifesto before the Maharashtra Assembly elections, had said the party will ask the NDA government at the Centre to confer India's highest civilian award on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Veer Savarkar.
The Congress deplored the BJP's proposal to confer Bhara Ratna on Veer Savarkar. Karnataka Congress spokesman Ivan D'Souza MLC had said the saffron party's agenda was to score gains in Maharashtra assembly elections by mooting such a proposal.
The BJP was attempting to promote "traitors" as patriots only during elections. Pointing out that Savarkar had written six letters to the Britishrevealing his wish to surrender within two weeks of landing in jail, D'Souza sought to know how such a person could be called a freedom fighter.
Slamming the Maharashtra BJP's proposal, Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, had said that Savarkar was the "patron" of the Mahatma's assassination. Savarkar, who faced trial in the Gandhi assassination case but was acquitted, had not been pronounced innocent by the court, he claimed.
"I think it is important that we understand the real objective and conspiracy behind Bapu's murder, at a time when the patron of his murder is being considered for Bharat Ratna," Tushar Gandhi had said.