Mumbai: Shiv Sena on Monday objected to senior JD-U leader Shivanand Tiwari (in pic) questioning the decision to award Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award, to Sachin Tendulkar.
"Even otherwise, Sachin is India's Bharat Ratna. Does Tiwari suggest we give it to Lalu Yadav instead?" Sena leader Sanjay Raut said.
"Tiwari has no right to speak on Tendulkar. Sachin is part of India's identity, Shivanand Tiwari is not," he said. Raut demanded that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee should also be awarded a Bharat Ratna. "If Rajiv Gandhi can get it then why not Vajpayee?" he said.
Those who are demanding the award for Vajpayee are not opposed to Sachin Tendulkar getting it, he said. The JD(U) and Sena were longstanding partners in the BJP-led NDA.
Tiwari had said giving the Bharat Ratna to Tendulkar, who has earned millions from playing the sport of cricket, was nothing more than a joke. "Tendulkar has not played cricket for free," Tiwari had said.