Swamy Urges Modi To Nominate President Rajapaksa For Bharat Ratna

First meeting between Modi and Rajapaksa in May 2014 First meeting between Modi and Rajapaksa in May 2014

Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that his government confer Bharat Ratna on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, under whose leadership the LTTE was eliminated.

"This elimination of the LTTE must be recognised in India as a welcome contribution to our national security,” he said in a letter to Modi, Indian media reported.

It was also reported that Modi has acknowledged receipt of Swamy's letter.

Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India. Instituted on 2 January 1954, the award is conferred "in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order", without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex.

The Prime Minister nominates suitable candidates to the President of India. A maximum of three nominees are awarded per year.

It is usually awarded to Indians. However, it was awarded to one naturalised citizen, Mother Teresa in 1980, and to two non-Indians, Pakistan national Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1987 and former South African President Nelson Mandela in 1990. Ghaffar Khan, known as Frontier Gandhi, was a hero of Indian independence struggle and a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi.

The most recent recipients are C. N. R. Rao and Sachin Tendulkar in 2013.

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