Bharat Ratna award to Karpoori Thakur reflects Modi Govt’s desperation: Congress

NEW DELHI, Jan 24: The Congress on Wednesday welcomed the decision to confer Bharat Ratna to former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur and said it reflects the Narendra Modi Government’s desperation and hypocrisy.
Thakur was a champion of social justice and conducting a nationwide caste census would be an appropriate tribute to him, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said.
“Even though it reflects the Modi Govt’s desperation and hypocrisy, the Indian National Congress welcomes the posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna to the champion of social justice Jannayak Karpoori Thakurji,” Ramesh said in a post on X.
“‘Bhagidari Nyay’ is one of the five pillars of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. It will need a nation-wide caste census as a starting point.
“Rahul Gandhi has been consistently advocating this but the Modi Government has all along refused to release the results of the Socio Economic Caste Census 2011 and also refused to commit itself to conduct an updated nation-wide caste census which will be the most appropriate tribute to Jannayak Karpoori Thakurji,” he said.
Two-time Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur has been named for the country’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna posthumously, a Rashtrapati Bhawan communique said on Tuesday on the eve of the birth centenary of the fountainhead of OBC politics in Bihar.
Thakur, who passed away in 1988, was the first non-Congress socialist leader who became chief minister twice — first for seven months in December 1970 and later for two years in 1977.
“The President has been pleased to award Bharat Ratna to Shri Karpoori Thakur (posthumously),” the communique said.
Thakur, known affectionately as ‘Jan Nayak’ (people’s leader), is the 49th recipient of the country’s highest civilian award. The award was last conferred on late president Pranab Mukherjee in 2019.
Born on January 24, 1924 in Nai samaj (barber society), Thakur is credited in Bihar politics for enforcing total prohibition of alcohol in 1970. The village where he was born in Samistupur district was renamed after him as Karpuri Gram. (PTI)