New Delhi, Feb 03: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that BJP's veteran leader LK Advani will be conferred with the prestigious Bharat Ratna award, his family expressed happiness and thanked PM Modi for honouring the latter with the country's highest honour.
Pratibha Advani, LK Advani's daughter, was seen sitting with Advani at his residence in Delhi as she congratulated her father offering him a laddu.
LK Advani joined his hands and greeted the people.
"The entire family is very happy that 'Dada' (LK Advani) has received the country's highest honour. Today I miss my mother the most because her contribution to his life, be it personal or political life is huge. When I told Dada, he was very happy and said that he spent his entire life in the service of his country. He thanked PM Modi and the people of the country for honouring him with such a big award," Pratibha Advani said.
"He is very overwhelmed. He is a man of few words. But he had tears in his eyes. He was very happy even at the time of Pran Pratishtha of Ram temple. This was such a dream of his life for which he struggled and worked for a long time. His personality is such that when someone praises him, tears come to his eyes," she added.
Jayant Advani, veteran BJP leader LK Advani's son said that it is wonderful to note that at this stage in his life, his efforts are being recognised in this magnificent way.
"My family and I are extremely delighted with this new development. I would like to thank PM Narendra Modi for conferring this award on my father. My father's contribution to public life has been immense and it is wonderful to note that at this stage in his life, his efforts are being recognised in this magnificent way," he said.
Earlier, making the announcement of the award Prime Minister Narendra Modi said "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."
"Advani Ji's decades-long service in public life has been marked by an unwavering commitment to transparency and integrity, setting an exemplary standard in political ethics. He has made unparalleled efforts towards furthering national unity and cultural resurgence. The conferring of the Bharat Ratna on him is a very emotional moment for me. I will always consider it my privilege that I got countless opportunities to interact with him and learn from him" the Prime Minister added.
Born in Karachi, in present-day Pakistan, on November 8, 1927, Advani through the years had served as the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party for the longest period since its inception in 1980. Capping a parliamentary career of nearly three decades, he was, first, the Home Minister and, later, the Deputy Prime Minister in the cabinet of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1999-2004).
Through the latter half of the 1980s and the 1990s, LK Advani focused on the singular task of building the BJP into a national political force. The results of his efforts were underscored by the 1989 General Election. The Party bounced back from its 1984 tally of 2 to achieve an impressive 86 seats. The Party position moved up to 121 seats in 1992 and 161 in 1996; making the 1996 elections a watershed in Indian democracy. For the first time since independence, the Congress was dethroned from its preeminent position, and the BJP became the single largest party in the Lok Sabha.