New Delhi: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and CPM leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will be among the recipients of Padma Bhushan on the 73rd Republic Day.
The Congress leader was elected to Rajya Sabha for five terms and twice to Lok Sabha. Azad contested the Washim Lok Sabha seat from Maharashtra’s Washim in 1980. His Rajya Sabha term ended on February 16, 2021. An emotional bid adieu was given to the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.
Lauding the senior Congress leader’s contribution to the causes dear to him, the Prime Minister said, “The person who will replace Ghulam Nabi ji (as Leader of Opposition) will have difficulty matching his work because he was not only concerned about his party but also about the country and the House.”
Former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was also named for the award. He served as the chief minister of West Bengal from 2000 to 2011.
A fierce critic of the Narendra Modi government, Bhattacharjee rejected the award saying, “I don’t know anything about a Padma Bhushan award. No one told me anything about it. If they have given me a Padma Bhushan award, I am rejecting it.” His brief statement in Bengali was posted on CPM’s Bengal social media pages.
The Padma Bhushan awardees are – Ghulam Nabi Azad, actor Victor Banerjee, Punjabi singer Gurmeet Bawa, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella, Madhur Jaffery, Devendra Jhajharia, Rashid Khan, Rajiv Mehrishi, Satya Narayana Nadella, Sundararajan Pichai, Cyrus Poonawalla, Sanjaya Rajaram (posthumous), Pratibha Ray, Swami Sachidanand and Vashishth Tripathi.
Padma Awards – one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.
‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field.
The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.
These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March and April every year.