Cabinet Minister in Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma who earlier belonged to the Congress party made some revelation while speaking to Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on the debate over the delay of Bharat Ratna to late Dr. Bhupen Hazarika.
In conversation, the BJP leader revealed that the Congress party was requested to award Dr. Hazarika but was refused, saying that the award cannot be given posthumously
He said, "When I was in Congress party, immediately after his demise we collectively requested the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, we requested the party and government that Bhupen Hazarika should be conferred but we were told that posthumously it is not possible, we can't give it and he was given Padma Vibhushan."
He further added that the award was not given during Dr. Hazarika's lifetime or instantly after his demise, just like it was not given to the former chief minister of Assam, Gopinath Bordoloi by the Congress party but was rewarded by former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He said, "My question is the same, why was he not given immediately after his demise or when he was alive. In the same way Gopinath Bordoloi should have been given Bharat Ratna immediately after India attained Independence, but it is only after many years that Atal Bihari Vajpayee him the Bharat Ratna. So Bhupen Hazarika should have got this award during his lifetime but unfortunately, it was denied to him. As an Assamese and as an India, today I'm happy, finally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the recognisation which was long over due."
"Chief minister Gogoi wrote letters requesting Bharat Ratna to Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, the chief minister then shared in our cabinet meeting that psthumously Bharat Ratna cannot be given," he added.
The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, announced on Friday that former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, along with Shri Nanaji Deshmukh and Dr. Bhupen Hazarika have been awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest prestigious award in India.
The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award which can be conferred to an individual in India. The accolade is presented to an individual for his services to the country. The recommendation of the names for the Bharat Ratna is given by the PM to the President, following which a maximum of three people are awarded.