RJD Chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday sought the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, for late veteran socialist leader and former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur.
“We demand that Karpoori Thakur should be given Bharat Ratna,” Prasad said during a function to mark the birth anniversary of Thakur at the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) office here.He added that Karpoori Thakur deserved the Bharat Ratna.
Last year Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also demanded the Bharat Ratna for Karpoori Thakur for his contribution to social justice.
Popularly known as ‘Jan Nayak’ (people’s leader), Thakur was one of the socialist leaders close to Jayaprakash Narayan who spearheaded the movement for ‘total revolution’ as well as protests against the Emergency (1975-77).
Belonging to the extremely backward castes (EBC), he emerged as an important icon for consolidating EBC votes in caste-ridden Bihar. The EBCs are a cluster of over 100 castes accounting for around 32 per cent of the electorate.
Regarded as an honest and hard working leader, Karpoori Thakur was the chief minister of Bihar from December 1970 to June 1971 and from December 1977 to April 1979.
Thakur passed away in 1988.