"I welcome the decision to bestow the award on Vajpayee and Malviya. I liked the choices of the government," Gogoi told reporters here.
Recalling his association with the former prime minister, he said, "Vajpayee helped me a lot during his tenure as prime minister. At that time, I was the CM in Assam. For that I am personally grateful to him."

Gogoi also lauded contribution of Malviya, who had founded the Banaras Hindu University. The announcement by the Rashtrapati Bhavan came ahead of the birthday of Vajpayee, who turns 90, and the 153rd birth anniversary of Malaviya on Thursday.

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