Former President Pranab Mukherjee, legendary musical maestro Dr Bhupen Hazarika and influential social activist Nanaji Deshmukh on Thursday were conferred with the Bharat Ratna- India's highest civilian award.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee, clad in traditional Bengali attire, collected the award from the hands of President Ram Nath Kovind at a glittering ceremony in New Delhi.
Awarded posthumously, the award on behalf of Dr Hazarika was received by his son Tez Hazarika and Nanaji Deshmukh's relative Virender Jeet Singh received the award for him.
Virendra Jeet Singh is the Chairman of Deendayal Research Institute.
Pranab Mukherjee is the fifth Indian President who has been awarded the highest civilian award of the country.
For Assam, Bharat Ratna to the musical legend brought in waves of happiness and joy and people took to their social media sites to express their feelings.
State Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who was present during the ceremony, said that Bharat Ratna to Dr Bhupen Hazarika is a matter of joy for the state.
In a statement issued to the media on Thursday evening, the CM said that conferring the award to the legend "inspires the Assamese people living in India and abroad".
"The step has fulfilled a long pending demand and aspiration of the people of Assam,” he said.
The award ceremony was also attended by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and several other union members.
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi were few of the prominent faces who were not seen at the award function on Thursday.
The exact reasons for their absence from the award ceremony are not yet known.
The event, however, was attended by several other Congress leaders.
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