The Government of India announced Bharat Ratna to former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao posthumously. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the news today and lauded the exemplary work done by PV to bring economic reform to the country.

Rao was the first non-Gandhi family member from the Congress party and also the first person from South India to hold the Prime Minister position. He became Prime Minister after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

His focus on globalization and economic change helped shape modern India. Despite this, the Congress party never seemed to value his work. After Rao died in 2004, Sonia Gandhi (then president of the party) did not allow his body to be honoured within the AICC headquarters and prevented a proper memorial from being built in Delhi.

Prime Minister Modi has previously spoken out about how the Congress party disregarded Rao’s contributions. Former Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao has noted this disrespect as well. By giving Rao the Bharat Ratna, Modi delivered a masterstroke against the Congress party before the upcoming elections.

Many people have wanted Rao to receive this honour for a long time and are praising Modi’s decision. This has also brought renewed attention to how the Congress party treated Rao, which could negatively impact the party and Sonia Gandhi’s image in the elections.