PM Modi Announces Bharat Ratna for Former PM Chaudhary Charan Singh, PV Narasimha Rao, and MS Swaminathan

India's highest civilian honour to be conferred on three distinguished individuals for their exceptional contributions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a significant announcement on Friday, revealing that former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh would be posthumously awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the ‘Bharat Ratna’. Additionally, the prestigious award will also be bestowed upon ex-Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao and renowned agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan.

“We are fortunate to witness the recognition of former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh with the Bharat Ratna. This honour is a tribute to his invaluable contribution to the nation, particularly his lifelong dedication to the welfare of farmers,” stated PM Modi in a social media post.

“He tirelessly worked towards nation-building during his tenures as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Union Home Minister, and as a legislator. He stood against the Emergency and remained steadfast in his commitment to farmers and democracy, serving as a source of inspiration for all of us,” added the Prime Minister.

Chaudhary Charan Singh, a pivotal figure in Indian politics, hailed from a middle-class farming family in Meerut, born in 1902. Graduating from Agra University, he pursued law and began his legal practice in Ghaziabad before eventually settling in Meerut in 1929.

Initiating his political journey with the Congress, Singh secured his first election to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly from Chhaprauli in 1937, subsequently winning re-election in 1946, 1952, 1962, and 1967.

His political career saw various milestones, including serving as a parliamentary secretary in Govind Ballabh Pant’s government in 1946 and assuming the role of a cabinet minister for justice and information in 1951.

In 1967, Chaudhary Charan Singh parted ways with the Congress to become the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, first under the Sanyukta Vidhayak Dal coalition and later for a second term in 1970.

His brief tenure as India’s Prime Minister began in 1979 when he assumed office on July 28th, following the withdrawal of support by the Jana Sangh from the Morarji Desai-led Janata Party government. However, his tenure was short-lived as he resigned after failing to prove his majority in the Lok Sabha, with Indira Gandhi’s Congress (I) withdrawing support. Singh remained as the caretaker Prime Minister until January 14, 1980.

The decision to honor Chaudhary Charan Singh, PV Narasimha Rao, and MS Swaminathan with the Bharat Ratna underscores their significant contributions to India’s socio-political fabric and agricultural sector, leaving an indelible mark on the nation’s history.

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