Family members welcome Bharat Ratna for Vajpayee, Malaviya

Bharat Ratna for Vajpayee, MalaviyaAllahabad, Dec 24 : The family members of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya on Wednesday expressed their delight over the decision to confer them Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award.

"It is a little late but at least his name has been considered for the award. It is a moment of great happiness. I thank the Indian Government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this," said Vajpayee's niece Veena.

Another niece of Vajpayee, Karuna Shukla, also hailed the decision.

"I am very happy with this announcement. Things take place in life whenever they are destined to. Both Atalji and Madan Mohan Malaviya are great personalities. It is a great news for the whole nation," said Karuna Shukla.

Meanwhile, Pandit Malaviya's grandson Giridhar Malaviya lauded the Centre for taking a decision in this regard and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Though a little late, the government has taken a good stand for which I would like to thank it and PM Modi ," he said.

Several top BJP leaders called on Vajpayee at his residence in Delhi today. He has stayed away from public life for the past few years because of his health.

The announcement comes a day before the birthday of Vajpayee, who is popular across all party lines. (ANI)