* Union government on 24 December 2014 announced the prestigious Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously).
* The announcement was made on the eve of Mr. Vajpayee's 90th birthday and the 153rd birth anniversary of Pandit Malviya.
* The BJP has been demanding Bharat Ratna for Mr. Vajpayee for a long time; and BJP patriarch L.K. Advani has been at the forefront of seeking the highest civilian honour for the former Prime Minister.
* A Bharat Ratna for Madan Mohan Malaviya, freedom fighter and educationist popularly known as 'Mahamana', was one of the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his election campaigns.
* 43 people have been honoured with the Bharat Ratna since its inception, including scientist CV Raman, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, singer Lata Mangeshkar and politicians C Rajagopalachari.