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Bharat Ratna: It is all in the family
Haryana CM recommends fatherís name
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
If Haryanaís heavyweight politicians have their way, the family of each of them will have a Bharat Ratna recipient.

The names recommended by a state government committee headed by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for the countryís highest civilian honour are that of Bansi Lal and Mr Ranbir Singh, father of Mr Hooda.

Mr Ranbir Singh is a Congress politician of the pre-independence era who is also among the few surviving members of the Constituent Assembly. He was a minister in the joint Punjab and had held important offices.

By recommending his fatherís name for the award, Mr Hooda has done nothing new as far as the prevalent traditions of the state go. His predecessor Om Prakash Chautala had repeatedly sought Bharat Ratna for his father Devi Lal. Though Bharat Ratna was not awarded to the Haryana stalwart, the NDA government did erect Devi Lalís statue in the Parliament complex.

Ms Kartar Devi, Health Minister, and Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, Revenue Minister, are the other members of the committee. They could not attend the meeting on November 16 for finalising the recommendations for the awards. Since no meeting has taken place after that date, it is presumed that the list of names was finalised on November 16 only.

The inclusion of Bansi Lalís name for the award is due to the efforts by his daughter-in-law Kiran Choudhary, Haryana Minister of State for Tourism and Forest. She has also met the Prime Minister in this regard.

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