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Bharat Ratna for Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Freedom Fighter Madan Mohan Malaviya

Vajpayee

Dec 24,New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malaviya will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India's top civilian award.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recommended the names to the President after a meeting with top BJP leaders.

89-year-old Vajpayee, the three-time prime minister , will be the first leader from the BJP to be given a Bharat Ratna.He has stayed away from public life for the past few years because of his health.

A Bharat Ratna for Dr Madan Mohan Malaviya, the freedom icon and educationist popularly known as 'Mahamana', was one of the promises made by PM Modi during his the campaign for the national election.

The Banaras Hindu University, founded by Dr Malaviya, is in the Prime Minister's constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

43 people have been honoured till now with the Bharat Ratna, which recognizes "exceptional service or performance of the highest order."