Bengaluru, Feb 3 (PTI) Karnataka BJP and JD(S) leaders on Saturday welcomed the Centre's decision to confer Bharat Ratna on veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani.
Former CM and BJP stalwart B S Yediyurappa hailed the decision.
"If there is a Ram Temple in Ayodhya today, then it is because of Lal Krishna Advani. Advani was present when Babri Masjid was demolished," he told reporters here.
Yediyurappa said he was fortunate to attend the public meeting Advani had addressed during the demolition of Babri Masjid.
Everyone is happy with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement to bestow Bharat Ratna on Advani, he added.
Former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai expressed his joy over the Centre's decision.
He said it is a matter of pride that Advani has been conferred with the Bharat Ratna, a highest civilian award.
Bommai said that Advani is "the real son of the soil".
"Advani started his public life through Jan Sangh and displayed his patriotism for the country by participating in the Kashmir agitation started by Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Through the Ram Janma Bhumi agitation, he emotionally united the people of the country. Thanks to his efforts, the Ram Mandir, a dream of millions of people, has become a reality," the former CM said.
He also said Advani strengthened the internal security of the nation as Union Home Minister and made Bharat a strong nation.
JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy extended his greetings to the veteran BJP leader.
"Heartfelt congratulations to senior politician, BJP stalwart, and former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, who has been honoured with the prestigious 'Bharat Ratna,' the country's highest civilian award," Kumaraswamy said on 'X'.
"Thanks to the central government and Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi for recognising and announcing this well-deserved award for a person of such high distinction. Advani is an inspiration to all, embodying loyalty, commitment, friendliness, and hard work in Indian politics. I extend my best wishes to him," he added.
Leader of Opposition R Ashoka, hailed the announcement of the Bharat Ratna award to the former Deputy Prime Minister.
"L K Advani is an ideal person, who never compromised on principles and ideology. If he hadn't lit the 'Ramajyoti' in India, we wouldn't have seen Ram Temple in Ayodhya today," the BJP leader said.
He recalled that he was with Advani as a Bajrang Dal worker when his Rath Yatra was traveling in Karnataka.
Pejavar Math seer Vishwa Prasanna Teertha in Udupi lauded the government's move.
He called Advani a representative of value-based politics who maintained the dignity of the offices he held.
Vishwa Prasanna Teertha said Advani had led the Ayodhya Ram temple movement in the early 1990s, which finally culminated in the temple coming up there, he added. PTI GMS KH