Nation wanted greatest honour for Sachin Tendulkar: Shinde

Amid the debate over Bharat Ratna for Sachin Tendulkar, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Tuesday said the highest civilian award had been conferred on him as "the whole nation wanted the greatest honour" for the celebrated cricketer.

PTI| Updated: Nov 19, 2013, 19:37 PM IST

Mathura: Amid the debate over Bharat Ratna for Sachin Tendulkar, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Tuesday said the highest civilian award had been conferred on him as "the whole nation wanted the greatest honour" for the celebrated cricketer.

Asked on the conferment of the award on the cricketer before hockey legend Dhyan Chand, Shinde said, "Since the whole nation wanted the greatest honour for Sachin..., Bharat Ratna was conferred on him."

The Union Home Minister, who was here to lay the foundation stone of the building of a BSF battalion in Baad area, said units of paramilitary forces were being set up wherever land was easily available.

Lauding the role of BSF in the 1971 Bangladesh War, Shinde said green signal had been given to set up at least one unit of the force in each state.

"The purpose of opening a battalion in every state is to provide housing and schooling facility for the children and families of the jawans in their home state so that they don`t have to worry about their family," Shinde said.

"More than one unit is being set up in large states. At present while one battalion each is in Greater Noida and Allahabad, two are in Bareli. The battalion being set up in Mathura is the fifth in the state," he said.

Speaking on the concerns expressed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi over the problem of infiltration in Mizoram, Shinde said, "Work of fencing along the Indo-Bangla border is going on in full speed... However, the work is getting delayed in some areas due to difficult terrains."

"We are facing the problem of intrusion in areas where there is no fencing at present," he said.

The minister lauded the role of BSF Director General Subhash Joshi and honoured the widows of 10 slain BSF jawans.

The battalion headquarters in Mathura, spread over 57.97 acres of land, is the first in western Uttar Pradesh.

"The BSF has 36,500 personnel from UP, of them 10,000 are from western part of the state," Joshi said. "BSF is doing pioneering work in guarding the borders. We would also be guarding the Burma border soon," he added.