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Bharat Ratna for Charan Singh: Centre has won heart, says grandson Jayant Chaudhary

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Lucknow, Feb 9 (PTI) Rashtriya Lok Dal president Jayant Chaudhary on Friday said the Centre won his heart with the announcement of Bharat Ratna to former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh.

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"Dil Jeet Liya," he posted on X.

Chaudhary is the grandson of Chaudhary Charan Singh, a famed farmers' champion. The RLD chief hailed the decision on X in a one-line comment in Devnagari.

In a post on X, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "It is the good fortune of our government that former Prime Minister of the country Chaudhary Charan Singh is being honoured with Bharat Ratna. This honour is dedicated to his incomparable contribution to the country. He had dedicated his entire life to the rights and welfare of farmers. Be it the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh or the Home Minister of the country and even as an MLA, he always gave impetus to nation building. He also stood firm against the Emergency. His dedication to our farmer brothers and sisters and his commitment to democracy during the Emergency is inspiring to the entire nation." Former prime ministers P V Narasimha Rao and Singh, as well as agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna, Prime Minister Modi announced on Friday.

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"Bharat Ratna to Charan Singh dedicated to his incomparable contribution to the country," the PM said.

Welcoming the announcement of Bharat Ratna to Singh, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on X, said, "The announcement of awarding 'Bharat Ratna' to former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, who was a public leader, the messiah of farmers, and dedicated his entire life to the upliftment of villages, 'annadata' farmers, the exploited and the deprived, is commendable. He was a seeker of democracy in the true sense. This honour is a recognition of his incredible contributions to nation building." Singh served as the sixth prime minister of India between July and August in 1979. He also served as the chief minister of UP on two occasions - from April 3, 1967 to February 25, 1968 and from February 18, 1970 to October 1, 1970.

In Hapur, the home district of Singh, people began celebrations over the announcement of Bharat Ratna for him.

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The former prime minister was born in Noorpur ki Madiay village under Babugarh police station area of Hapur district.

Sumer Singh, a resident of the village said, "Women here are celebrating by singing songs and people are distributing sweets on this pleasant occasion. We are proud that Chaudhary Sahab is the son of this soil." Celebrations are also underway in Baghpat, the political home turf of Singh.

People were seen distributing sweets and congratulating each other following the announcement. National secretary of RLD Raj Kumar Sangwan said, "Chaudhary Charan Singh was elected as MLA six times from Chaprauli assembly seat of the district. He also became prime minister after being elected to the Lok Sabha from the Baghpat.

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"He is the only politician in India who has the honour of being called the farmers' messiah. He has been given this honour by the people of this country," he said.

The matter also came up in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, where Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, Speaker Satish Mahana and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna hailed the decision and lauded the farmers' leader.

Mahana said, "The entire House is happy. The services rendered by Chaudhary Charan Singh jee were 'atulniya' (incomparable) for the entire country. The entire House thanks the prime minister." Akhilesh Yadav said, "Speaker sir, through you, I want to congratulate all the farmers. Throughout his life, Chaudhary Charan Singh fought for the rights of the farmers. And in front of this Vidhan Sabha, Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) installed his (Singh's) statue. We are happy that one 'kisan neta' (farmers' leader) has got Bharat Ratna." Khanna also expressed happiness over the announcement of Bharat Ratna to Singh.

Later, speaking to reporters, Akhilesh Yadav said, "The samajwadis had also demanded (Bharat Ratna) for Chaudhary Charan Singh jee. Congratulations and best wishes to those who have been named for Bharat Ratna. The farmers' leaders and (political) parties, who had demanded (the honour for Singh), congratulations and thanks to all of them." PTI NAV SNS KSS KSS

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