I was wrong again. Or is it that the CPI (M) is in a state of confusion? Jyoti Basu has said he is not in the run for Bharat Ratna. The Hindu has quoted party sources as saying, “It is not a practice of our leaders to accept state awards.”
According to the newspaper, the sources recalled that when P. V. Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister, the government offered Padma Vibhushan to former party general secretary E. M. S. Namboodiripad rejected the proposal.
(I was wrong in stating earlier that Namboodiripad was considered for an award when V. P. Singh was the Prime Minister.)
Isn’t there a contradiction between the party’s willingness to exercise state power as a player of electoral politics, and its unwillingness to accept state awards? State governments run by the party are known to recommended candidates for various Central awards. Writers and artists close to the party have been among persons so recommended.