MUMBAI: In a rare gesture, the Maharashtra assembly Tuesday unanimously recommended that the central government should confer the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, on cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. A motion recommending the Bharat Ratna and congratulating the Indian Team for winning the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 – moved by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan was supported and adopted by all political parties.
"We recommend that Sachin Tendulkar be conferred with the Bharat Ratna for his contribution to sports," Chavan said while moving the motion which got the support of the entire house.
Chavan also reiterated that the state government would reward two cricketers from Maharashtra in Team India, Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan, with a cash prize of Rs.10 million each and a citation.
Besides, the two members from the state in the team’s support staff – masseur Ramesh Mane and logistics manager Mayank Parekh – would be rewarded with Rs.5 million each.
The dream of 1.2 billion Indians has been achieved after a gap of nearly 28 years, Chavan said.
Speaking on the occasion, Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse of BJP described Sachin as the "god of cricket".
"It is the outcome of 21 years of struggle and Sachin is a team player despite criticism that he only pursued individual records," Khadse said.
Senior Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai took the opportunity to demand that Sachin be granted additional floor space index (FSI) for construction of a private gymnasium in his upcoming bungalow at Bandra, which was earlier turned down by the government.
"He is a sportsperson and needs a gym in his own house. He has not sought additional FSI for a club or a discotheque and his request should be granted," Desai urged.(IANS)