Maharashtra hails Bharat Ratna for Sachin, Rao

Indo Asian News Service

Mumbai, Nov 16 (IANS) Commoners, celebrities and top political leaders here Saturday hailed the decision to confer Bharat Ratna on cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and scientist C.N. Rao.

In a message, Governor K. Sankaranarayanan said that there could not have been a more appropriate time to declare the honour than the day when Sachin's illustrious test career ended on a high note with a win against West Indies.

"I do hope that he (Sachin) will continue to provide guidance to Indian cricket and budding cricketers from the country in the years to come," Sankaranarayanan said, congratulating both Sachin and Rao for the top civilian honour.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said that the honour was a matter of immense joy for all and would inspire youth to make a name for themselves in any field.

"When Sachin announced his retirement, millions of his fans were sad and disappointed, but the announcement of Bharat Ratna will again make them rejoice," Chavan said.

Lauding the honour, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that Sachin served to unite the people through his game while Rao improved the image of the country in the world and the global scientific community.

Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and Nashik's parliament member Sameer Bhujbal said that the Bharat Ratna for Sachin has gladdened the countrymen, especially cricket lovers and all the people in Mumbai.

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said that both Sachin and Rao richly deserved the honour as they had raised the country's stature in the world very high.

Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar said that she was delighted to hear about the honour conferred on Sachin. She was among the prominent people who had demanded Bharat Ratna for Sachin in the past few months.

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and several other celebrities and commoners expressed their joy on social networking sites, through SMSs and other media over the honour conferred on Sachin.