New Delhi: The Congress on Friday said former prime ministers P V Narasimha Rao and Charan Singh and Green Revolution pioneer M S Swaminathan were, are and will always be 'Bharat ke Ratna' as their contribution was unprecedented and respected by all Indians.
However, the opposition party also attacked the Modi government, saying it is "silent" on giving legal status of minimum support price to farmers based on the Swaminathan formula.
The Congress' reaction came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Rao, Singh and Swaminathan will be conferred the Bharat Ratna.
Asked about the Bharat Ratna announcements, specifically for Rao, Sonia Gandhi in a brief response outside Parliament said, "I welcome them... why not?".
In a post on X, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said, "Shri PV Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh and Dr. MS Swaminathan were, are and will always be the 'Bharat ke Ratna'. Their contribution was unprecedented, which every Indian respects." "The Modi government is silent on giving legal status of minimum support price to farmers based on Dr. Swaminathan's formula. Due to the stubbornness of Prime Minister Modi, 700 farmers were martyred during the movement, but the government broke its promise to the farmers. Even today the farmers are ready to march to Delhi, but the government is not listening," Ramesh said.
श्री पीवी नरसिम्हा राव, चौधरी चरण सिंह और डॉ एमएस स्वामीनाथन जी भारत के रत्न थे, हैं और सदैव रहेंगे। उनका योगदान अभूतपूर्व था, जिसका हर भारतीय सम्मान करता है।— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) February 9, 2024
डॉ स्वामीनाथन फ़ॉर्मूले के आधार पर किसानों को न्यूनतम समर्थन मूल्य का क़ानूनी दर्जा दिए जाने पर मोदी सरकार चुप है।… pic.twitter.com/drDz4U0KaT
"Providing justice to farmers is one of the main objectives of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. Our demand for 'Kisan Nyay (justice to farmers)' is that a legal guarantee of giving minimum support price to farmers should be given on the basis of the Swaminathan formula. This will be a true tribute to former prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh ji and Swaminathan ji," he said.
The government had earlier named former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur, a champion of backward empowerment, and L K Advani, a founding BJP member credited with charting the course of its rise through the 1990s, for the country's highest civilian honour.
At five, one more than the four announced in 1999, this is the maximum number of Bharat Ratnas announced for a year.