Zee Media Bureau/Sushmita Dutta
New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday congratulated Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar as the batting maestro was chosen for the prestigious Bharat Ratna after his retirement from International cricket today.
It`s a very rare show when politicians across the party line raise their voice united in favour of a decision. Bharat Ratna for Sachin seems to be one of them.
After the announcement was made, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up Sachin to congratulate him for a glittering career.
Whereas, Sonia in her congratulatory message said, "Sachin is one of the greatest youth icon and a definite role model for sportspersons."
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said, "It`s difficult to imagine anything less than Bharat Ratna being given to him (Sachin Tendulkar)".
He said Tendulkar`s "24 years of service to the nation is remarkable and also the way he made us proud by his sense of excellence".
Asked if more people should be given Bharat Ratna because it`s hard to come by, Khurshid said "if there are more people of the calibre of Tendulkar who have done service to the country, we will be happy to give the award to them".
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit also congratulated Sachin and said, "Sachin got what he deserved, it is a moment of pride for citizens of India as well."
"Batting genius Sachin Tendulkar has redefined the terms in which Indian cricket will now be seen," Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said.
"Tendulkar was the icon of emerging India, a nation finally showing its potential on the world stage. He departs from an India that has fully emerged," he said.
"Tendulkar earned India the right to be thought of as world-beaters; today`s young batsmen take that for granted, approaching the rest of the world with a buccaneering swagger that his earlier triumphs have made possible," he added.
Comparing Tendulkar`s exit from the cricket pitch to that of Jawaharlal Nehru`s departure as India`s first Prime Minister, the senior politician struck an optimistic note.
Bharatiya Janata Party`s PM candidate Narendra Modi also gave his best wishes to the Master blaster and tweeted, "Bharat Ratna for Sachin Tendulkar is a fitting tribute for his contribution to sports. My congratulations to him."
Another BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain tweeted, "Congrats to Sachin for being conferred `Bharat Ratna`. Sachin is the most loved Indian sportsman & all Indians wanted him to get this."
Delhi BJP`s chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan also congratulated Sachin while posting a message on his twitter handle he wrote, "Congratulations Sachin on the Bharat Ratna, you always made India proud."
Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan said, "Its a welcome step, he has made India proud all over the world."
The prestigious Bharat Ratna is the country`s highest civilian award. The `Master Blaster` became the first sportsperson to be bestowed with the honour.
Social media was bustling with best wishes for Sachin after the announcement.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also congratulated Tendulkar on being chosen for the award.
"Ye khushi ki baat hai aur main iska swagat karta hoon," Nitish Kumar said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the cricketing genius leaves behind an unmistakable mark of excellence.
"Sachin Tendulkar is an icon of the Indian and world cricket. Legends are forever. They only move from one field to another, leaving behind their unmistakable mark of excellence. His sportsmanship qualities, talents, sense of perfection, dedication and loving nature will still be available not only in the field of sports but even in other fields," Mamata said.
"As the worthiest sports star, he richly deserves the Bharat Ratna which I have been voicing for the last few years. Congratulations Sachin, move ahead Sachin. I wish him long life and brighter future," added Banerjee.
Telugu Desam Party President N Chandrababu Naidu said, "Conferring Bharat Ratna on Sachin was commendable. Youth of the country should take him as an inspiration. The batting maestro, who retired from international cricket today, inspired sportspersons all over the world."
"You are the icon for millions of sports lovers all over the world and pride of our beloved nation. A real demi-God of cricket lovers," he added.
Union Minister of State for Tourism K Chiranjeevi also hailed the announcement of Bharat Ratna for the 40-year-old cricket legend.
YSR Congress President and Kadapa MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy congratulated Tendulkar on the occasion.
In a statement, Jagan said Tendulkar wrote a golden chapter for himself in world cricket.
"Sachin`s determination and commitment inspired young sportspersons in the country. Conferring Bharat Ratna on him is a befitting recognition by the Government of India," Jagan added.