Karpoori Thakur should be honoured with Bharat Ratna, demands Nitish Kumar

Bihar’s former chief minister and veteran socialist leader Karpoori Thakur should be honoured with Bharat Ratna, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has demanded. Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav has also supported the demand saying “Bharat Ratna for Jan Nayak Karpoori Thakur is our old demand.”   

“It is our wish (khwahish) that Bharat Ratna should be conferred on Jan Nayak Karpoori Thakur,” Kumar said in a tweet.

Kumar said that he has recommended for conferring Bharat Ratna to Karpoori Thakur five times. Apart from this year, Kumar sent his recommendation to the centre in this regard in 2007, 2017, 2018 and 2019.  

Tejashwi Yadav also supported the demand for conferring Bharat Ratna on Karpoori Thakur.

However, Yadav criticised NDA government for not conferring Bharat Ratna to the socialist leader, who is known for his simplicity and honesty in public life.  

“Bharat Ratna for Jan Nayak Karpoori Thakur is our old demand. Why is the double engine government of the NDA not conferring the Bharat Ratna to Jan Nayak, despite the NDA having 39 of the total 40 Lok Sabha members from Bihar?,” Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi.

He suggested that Bihar chief minister should meet the Prime Minister to press for the demand of conferring Bharat Ratna on Karpoori Thakur.

Former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur

Karpoori Thakur served as chief minister of Bihar twice – from December 1970 to June 1971 and again from June 1977 to April 1979. Thakur, who was first elected to the Bihar Legislative Assembly in 1952, also served as deputy chief minister and education minister of Bihar. He remained a member of Bihar Legislative Assembly until his death in 1988.

It is said that despite being MLA for nearly four decades and chief minister of the state twice Thakur neither had a concrete house nor a bank account when he died in 1988.  

Karpoori Thakur is said to have inspired and mentored the leaders like Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan, among others who have been at the centre of Bihar’s politics for the past over three decades.

Thakur, who was born to a Nai family (barber community), on 24 January 1924 at Pitaujhia village in Samastipur district of Bihar, is popularly referred as Jan Nayak or people’s leader. Some of the decisions taken during is tenure as chief minister is considered controversial. It includes banning English as a mandatory subject in matriculation exam, reservation to backward class in government jobs and ban on alcohol.

Gyanendra Kumar Keshri

Gyanendra Kumar Keshri is consulting editor of BiharConnect. He has nearly 20 years of experience in journalism, having worked for diverse media streams in India and abroad.

Related Articles

Back to top button