Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray has demanded the Bharat Ratna for his uncle and Shiv Sena founder-patriarch the late Balasaheb Thackeray who played a major role in the Hindutva movement, here on Friday.
Balasaheb Thackeray (1926-2012), the father of Shiv Sena (UBT) President and ex-Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, had founded the original Shiv Sena in June 1966, to espouse the cause of the Marathis and propagate Hindutva.
“A prominent cartoonist of this country and a unique leader who kindled the pride of all Hindus across the country deserves this honour,” said Raj Thackeray in a social media post.
He also tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, besides sharing an old pix showing him enjoying a close rapport with his uncle.
The MNS chief’s statement came soon after the Centre announced Bharat Ratna for two former PMs — Chaudhary Charan Singh (July 1979-January 1980) and PV Narasimha Rao (1991-1996) — and renowned agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan (1925-2023).
“M.S. Swaminathan passed away just a few months ago. A scientist who achieved so much should have received this honour during his lifetime. Anyway,” said Raj Thackeray.
“Now that the BJP-led government at the Centre has shown political generosity by honouring P.V. Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh, and Pranab Mukherjee a few years ago, they must show the same generosity and declare Balasaheb Thackeray Bharat Ratna as well,” he said.
Raj Thackeray added that the Bharat Ratna honour to Balasaheb would be a moment of jubilation for him and others who have inherited his thoughts.