Patna: Showering lavish praise on Karpoori Thakur, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday demanded Bharat Ratna for the veteran socialist leader.
The Bihar government had recommended for bestowing Bharat Ratna to Thakur earlier also and will write for it once again, Kumar said while speaking at a function to observe birth anniversary of the socialist leader here.
Kumar said Thakur had died only at an age of 64.
"Had he been alive he would have been Prime Minister of the country," the CM said.
Kumar demanded replication of "Karpoori formula" in reservation of seats at the Centre also.
He said the formula seeking separate quota for extremely backward caste within OBC has been followed in Bihar.
In an apparent dig at his rival Lalu Prasad, Kumar said when he in 1993 had spoke for inclusion of Karpoori formula during implementation of Mandal commission recommendations he faced strong resistance.
"Even my castemen (Kurmi, an OBC) were provoked against me for seeking quota for EBC within OBC. But, without bothering for the consequence I stood my ground," he said.
With the birth anniversary of Thakur, who was Chief Minister of Bihar in 1977 in the Janata Party government, coming only months away from the Lok Sabha elections, all major parties observed the day with great sincerity.
RJD and LJP observed the occasion.
Former Chief Minister Rabri Devi garlanded photo of Thakur at a function in RJD state headquarters.