The Centre has announced the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award, for late Sushma Swaraj, George Fernandes and Arun Jaitley. All three served as union ministers in the previous BJP governments at the Centre. Former Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who also died last year, has been given Padma Bhushan award. The government also awarded Padma Shri for Pakistan-born singer Adnan Sami, who was given Indian citizenship by the Narendra Modi government. However, this decision has irked Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.
Ameya Khopkar, president of the MNS’s cinema wing, tweeted, “Sami is not an original Indian citizen. MNS is of the view that he should not be given any award. We condemn the decision to honour him with Padma Shri and demand the decision be withdrawn.”
मूळ भारतीय नागरिक नसलेल्या अदनान सामीला भारत सरकारने कोणताही पुरस्कार देऊ नये,हे मनसे च ठाम मत आहे. त्यामुळे त्याला बहाल केलेल्या पद्मश्री पुरस्काराचा मनसेकडून तीव्र शब्दात निषेध. अदनान सामीला जाहीर झालेला पद्म पुरस्कार त्वरित रद्द करण्यात यावा ही मनसेची मागणी आहे.
— Ameya Khopkar (@MNSAmeyaKhopkar) January 25, 2020
Among other winners of Padma honours were filmmakers Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor and actor Kangana Ranaut. They have been awarded Padma Shri too along with singers Suresh Wadkar.
All the four BJP stalwarts had died last year. This year’s Padma Awards list includes 7 Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan and 118 Padma Shri Awards (fourth highest civilian honour), the statement said, adding 34 of the awardees are women.