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Govt counters allegations of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee saying he was not informed about the Padma Bhushan

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By Payal Mehta

New Delhi | January 25, 2022 11:50:17 PM IST
Soon after the former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has refused the Padma Bhushan and said that he had no idea about the award, the Government sources on Tuesday clarified that his family was well-informed about it in the morning and at that time no intent of rejection was expressed.

Bhattacharjee is among 17 Padma Bhushan awardees, the government announced on the eve of 73rd Republic Day.

Within a short time of the announcement a statement was released by CPI-M, "I don't know anything about Padman Bhusan award, none has said anything about it. If I have been given Padma Bhushan I refuse to accept it," Buddhadeb Bhattacharya said on the Padma Bhushan announcement."

Top government sources have told ANI, "It is factually incorrect that the family was not informed about the government's decision to Besto him with this honour."

As per the sources, a very senior official from the Ministry of Home Affairs had called up the Bhattacharjee household and spoken to his wife.

"At that time no intent of rejection was expressed by the wife or anybody else from the family. The government release the list of awards is only late in the night therefore it is being assumed that this could have been a political afterthought," sources said.

If one reflects the list of Padma awards given by the Modi government, it has been seen that a large number of opposition leaders were given the honour.

A prominent name in the UPA, former President Pranab Mukherjee was awarded Bharat Ratna by the Modi government in 2019.

Last year former Chief Minister of Assam, Late Tarun Gogoi was conferred with the Padma Bhushan award.

In 2020, four-time Chief Minister of Nagaland SC Jamir was awarded the Padma Bhushan.

Another Congressman, Bhabani Charan Patnaik, a three-term Rajya Sabha MP from Odisha and office bearer of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee was awarded Padma Shri in 2018.

In 2017, Sharad Pawar and PA Sangma (posthumous) were awarded the Padma Vibhushan.

In comparison, not a single Opposition leader was honoured with any such award when the UPA was in power. The only exception was that of Mohan Dharia who was also awarded in the social service category.

The government announced 128 Padma awards this year including four Padma Vibushan and 107 Padma Shri. India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh were posthumously awarded Padma Vibhushan. (ANI)

 
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