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Will return Bharat Ratna if Vajpayee asks: Amartya Sen
Thursday July 25, 2013 8:32 PM, IANS

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen Thursday said he is ready to return his Bharat Ratna as sought by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Chandan Mitra but only if former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee asks for it.

"Mr Chandan Mitra may not know that the Bharat Ratna was given to me by the BJP-led government and was handed to me by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. If Mr Vajpayee wants me to return it, I will certainly return it," Amartya Sen told Times Now TV channel.

Calling it "unfortunate and unproductive that such a demand" has been made, Sen said: "It was Mitra's personal view."

Sen said he has no regrets over his Modi remarks.

"There are things to learn from Narendra Modi but I don't think he'll be a good PM. I don't regret what I have said. My remark was concerned only with Narendra Modi, not BJP," he said.

The noted economist said his remarks about Modi doesn't mean he is endorsing the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

"I have a right to speak as an Indian citizen. I can talk about the kind of PM I want. I'm proud of being an Indian, we have a tradition of secularism," he said.

Sen, in a recent TV interview, had said that "as an Indian citizen I don't want Modi as my PM, he has not done enough to make minorities feel safe".

Following this, Mitra had demanded that Sen's Bharat Ratna should be taken back.

Sen was given Bharat Ratna by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government during Vajpayee's tenure as prime minister.



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