Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Saturday that BJP stalwart and former deputy prime minister L K Advani will be conferred the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award. From being one of the co-founders of the Bharatiya Janata Party to being the longest-serving president of the saffron brigade, LK Advani has been credited with crafting the party's rise through the 90s when it came to power for the first time as the head of coalition governments under Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Lal Krishna Advani is one of the co-founders of BJP and a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He served as the 7th Deputy Prime Minister from 2002 to 2004 and is the longest serving Minister of Home Affairs from 1998 to 2004. He is also the longest serving Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. He was the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP during the 2009 general election.
In 1980, he was one of the founding members of the BJP along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1989 where he served seven terms. He has served as leader of opposition in both the houses. He served in the Parliament until 2019 and is credited for rise of BJP as a major political party. In 2015 he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour.
In 1990, Advani embarked on Ram Rath Yatra, a procession with a chariot to mobilise volunteers for Ram Janmabhoomi movement. In 1992, Babri Masjid was demolished and it was alleged that Advani delivered a provocative speech prior to the demolition. The former deputy PM was among the accused in the demolition case but was acquitted on September 30, 2020 by a CBI's special court. In the judgement, it was mentioned that the demolition was not pre-planned and that Advani was trying to stop the mob and not incite them.