Amid speculations that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose may be named for Bharat Ratna, Shiv Sena on Monday made a strong pitch for bestowing the country's highest civilian award on Swatantryaveer Savarkar too.
Like Netaji, Savarkar had made an immense contribution to the freedom struggle. He was the leader of the armed rebellion against the British rule for which he was sentenced to two life imprisonment and was sent to Andaman, party leader Sanjay Raut said.
Noting that Savarkar is also a "hero" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he told PTI that the PM realises that Netaji and Savarkar have been "consistently ignored" by the Congress. He said that his party was not against giving the honour to leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Madan Mohan Malviya and Kanshi Ram, but would also like it for Savarkar.
Shiv Sena is the second largest constituent of the BJP-led NDA and is the oldest ideological ally of the saffron party. Meanwhile, in a letter to Prime Minister, a former Congress MP JK Jain has suggested Netaji to be named as "Rashtraneta" (Leader of the Nation) and an apt memorial built for him in the Rajghat area in the national capital.