Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut alleged on Sunday that the Bharat Ratna awards announced by the Centre are being conferred for "political benefits" ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
"Bharat Ratna is given after seeing the political benefits of it," Raut said while addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Sunday.
Stating that only three people can be awarded the Bharat Ratna in a year, the Rajya Sabha MP said that the government was giving the award to five people.
"All this is being done for political benefits...Chaudhary Charan Singh (former Prime Minister) is being awarded Bharat Ratna because they want Jayant Chaudhary to join their party...," he alleged.
There have been speculations about Jayant Chaudhary (Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) Chief) jumping ship to the BJP, giving a jolt to the INDIA bloc.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday that former PMs Chaudhary Charan Singh and PV Narasimha Rao will be conferred the Bharat Ratna. Along with them, MS Swaminathan, also known as the father of the green revolution, will also be awarded the country's highest civilian award.
Opposition leaders have questioned the timing of the announcement of the awards, which come just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Friday after the announcement, "Happy that secular, socialist leaders have been awarded Bharat Ratna It is gratifying that the BJP is discovering the contribution of the three eminent men. It is of no consequence to me that the recognition has come on the eve of general elections. Homage to the memory of the three Bharat Ratna Awardees."