Central Government rejected Padma awards for MS Dhoni, Arnab Goswami, Ram Rahim: Report
New Delhi, March 27: The Central government rejected proposals to honor with Padma Awards to a number of prominent personalities, including cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, controversial spiritual leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, and tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, the Indian Express reported on Monday.
The Padma VibhushanAward winners, country’s second-highest civilian honour, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar and veteran Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) leader Murli Manohar Joshi were not on the preliminary list of nomination, the newspaper said. They were granted the highest civilian award in the “public affairs” category, which falls under the central government’s sole discretion.
Other notable personalities whose names were declined to accept from the list includes Biju Janata Dal (BJD)MP Baijayant Panda, music composer Anu Malik and journalist Arnab Goswami. TheMinistry of Home affairs didn’t cite reasons for rejecting these names.
The Padma award ceremony is likely to be held later this month at ceremonial functions held at Rashtrapati Bhawan later this year.
The Indian Express said the maximum nominations were received for Ram Rahim Singh, the controversial chief of the influential Dera Sacha Sauda who has also starred in three movies.
Air hostess Neerja Bhanot, who was killed during a hijack in 1986, was nominated by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Chandigarh Kirron Kher. A biopic on the air hostess, starring Sonam Kapoor, was released last year.
The Award search committee, set up to screen the nominations for the Padma Awards, comprised the cabinet secretary, secretary to the President of India, additional principal secretary to the prime minister of India, home secretary, actor Waheeda Rehman, journalist and Parliamentarian Dr. Harivansh; political analyst S Gurumurthy; and, badminton player turned coach Pullela Gopichand among others, the Indian Express said.
The candidates who did not make the final list of Padma awards included Supreme Court judge, Justice Amitava Roy, who was part of the bench that convicted Jayalalithaa’s aide, V K Sasikala, in a DA case and National Investigation Agency (NIA)’s founding chief, the late Radha Vinod Raju, who was nominated by one Bharath Chandresh Shah from Chennai.