New Delhi: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra on Tuesday said it will propose the name of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar for Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, if re-elected.
The proposal is part of the party’s manifesto, released on Tuesday, for upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra.
The state BJP unit’s proposal is interesting because several party leaders often look up to Savarkar for inspiration, although he was a member of the Hindu Mahasabha and not the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the BJP.
Among other prominent names that will be proposed for the Bharat Ratna by the BJP government in the state are social reformers Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule. While Jyotiba Phule worked towards eradication of untouchability, Savitribai Phule worked for women’s rights.
Apart from the politically crucial promise, the BJP has also promised 50 million jobs in the state in the next five years and to make Maharashtra a $1-trillion economy. The BJP manifesto also promised that the “Housing For All" scheme would be completed in the state by 2022.
BJP has also promised to invest ₹5 trillion in several infrastructure projects in the state in the next five years and to set up a Marathwada drinking water grid project worth ₹16,000 crore. The region is key to politics in Maharashtra because of the ongoing problem of agrarian distress.
“Maharashtra was earlier called the state which was full of corruption, but now it is known as free of corruption. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has changed the political culture of Maharashtra. The post of chief minister had become a musical chair but BJP has provided stability both in state politics and in administration of the state," said J.P. Nadda, working president of the BJP releasing the manifesto.
Maharashtra, along with Haryana, goes to polls on 21 October with counting set to take place on 24 October.
Press Trust of India contributed to this story