Strip Lata Mangeshkar of Bharat Ratna, says Congress leader

LataSinger Lata Mangeshkar had recently said that she wanted to see Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi become the Prime Minister. (IE)

Mumbai's Congress president Janardan Chandurkar has stirred a row by demanding that the country's highest civilian honours bestowed on those who praise "communal forces" should be withdrawn.

Though he did not name melody queen Lata Mangeshkar, it is apparent that remarks were aimed at her, as the singer had recently said she wanted to see Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi become the Prime Minister.

"All awards and honours bestowed on those who are praising communal forces should be withdrawn," Chandurkar said at a function here.

However, the Congress leader has clarified that he had not named anyone.

"My allegation was not against any individual, but about this tendency (to support communal forces). In our country, the awards are given, the society looks up to these people as an ideal and love these people.

"People love them irrespective of caste and community. If in such a situation, they (the awardees) decide to support communal party, the honour bestowed upon them becomes meaningless," Chandurkar said.

"If such people, who are loved by the society, want to indulge in politics, they should come out and practice politics," the Congress leader said.

At a recent function at Pune, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had found an ardent supporter in Lata Mangeshkar, who said she would like to see him taking the top job.

After Modi inaugurated a new hospital complex named after Lata's late father Deenanath Mangeshkar, the Bharat Ratna recipient had said, "Narendrabhai is like my brother. All of us want to see him become the Prime Minister. On the auspicious occasion of Diwali, I hope our wishes would come true."

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