He said Vajpayee had great love for him and hailed the Centre's decision to confer the award on him.

Without mentioning Madan Mohan Malviya, also chosen for the award, Karunanidhi said he was extending his greetings to the "leaders" for being chosen for the country's highest civilian honour.

Karunanidhi said he had written to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 24 urging that the Bharat Ratna be conferred on Annadurai.

"I once again insist the President and Prime Minister to confer the honour on Periyar and Annadurai and honour Tamil Nadu and the Dravidian movement," he said in a statement.

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