Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani accepted the honour of ‘Bharat Ratna’ with “humility and gratitude” and said that the motto — “This life is not mine. My life is for my Nation” — is what inspired his life.
“With utmost humility and gratitude, I accept the ‘Bharat Ratna’ that has been conferred on me today,” the 96-year-old co-founder of BJP said in his statement.
Advani said that ever since he joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a volunteer at the age of 14, he has sought just one thing in his life, that is to be “dedicated and selfless” in his service to the nation in “whatever task life assigned” to him.
“What has inspired my life is the motto — “This life is not mine. My life is for my Nation,” the BJP stalwart said in his statement.
He extended his gratitude towards the two persons, with whom he had the “honour of working closely” — Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Followed by this, the now Bharat Ratna LK Advani, wrote about his “heartfelt gratitude to the millions” of party workers, RSS workers and others with whom he has worked throughout his journey in ‘public life’.
“I also express my deepest feelings for all members of my family, especially my dear departed wife Kamla,” the BJP veteran said, adding that these people have been his greatest strength in life.
He noted his sincere thanks to “President Smt. Droupadi Murmu ji and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji for bestowing this honour on me.”
Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the highest civilian award of the country, for the BJP stalwart.
Taking to microblogging site X, PM Modi wrote, “I am very happy to share that Shri LK Advani Ji will be conferred the Bharat Ratna. I also spoke to him and congratulated him on being conferred this honour.”
“One of the most respected statesmen of our times, his contribution to the development of India is monumental. His is a life that started from working at the grassroots to serving the nation as our Deputy Prime Minister. He distinguished himself as our Home Minister and I&B Minister as well. His Parliamentary interventions have always been exemplary, full of rich insights,” the prime minister added.
The 96-year-old leader was the Deputy Prime Minister in PM Atal Bihar Vajpayee-led NDA government. The saffron party leader has been a member of both the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament between 1970 and 2019, before retiring from active, day-to-day politics.
Advani has been the longest-serving president of the Bharatiya Janata Party.