Legendary track and field sprinter Milkha Singh on Tuesday said hockey legend Dhyan Chand deserved the Bharat Ratna honour "before anyone else", even as he proposed that cricket great Sachin Tendulkar be made sports minister of the country.
"Sachin should be made sports minister so that he can work for the betterment of sports. Only a sportsman will work sincerely and with dedication for the cause of sports," Singh said here while launching the mascot for the forthcoming Lusofonia Games, scheduled in Goa in January next year.
Responding to a query, Singh, who is fondly known as "Flying Sikh", said he has never given a thought whether he should be conferred the highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna.
"It is something that I have never given any thought to, to be honest. However, one person who deserved the Bharat Ratna before anyone else was Dhyan Chand," he said.
"Dhyan Chand's contribution to the field of sport remains unparalleled," Singh added.
Singh, along with tennis player Sania Mirza, unveiled the mascot and torch for the Lusofonia games in a glittering ceremony held on Tuesday evening.
The clamour for Bharat Ratna award for Dhyan Chand has been on for some time.
Sachin was recently chosen for the highest civilian honour after his retirement from cricket.
The cricketing great has on many occasions supported the cause of sports other than cricket.