Buddhadev Bhattacharjee wants to be Azad not Ghulam: Jairam Ramesh on Padma Award for party colleague
New Delhi/IBNS: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad's name featuring in the Padma Bhushan award lists announced on the eve of the 73rd Republic Day evoked mixed reactions from party colleagues on Tuesday evening.
While Shashi Tharoor welcomed the news, Jairam Ramesh took a dig at the announcement.
Retweeting the news of former Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee declining the Padma award, Ramesh tweeted, "Right thing to do. He wants to be Azad not Ghulam".
Right thing to do. He wants to be Azad not Ghulam. https://t.co/iMWF00S9Ib— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) January 25, 2022
Both Ghulam Nabi Azad and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee have been named for the Padma Bhushan Award on the eve of the 73rd Republic Day.
The CPI-M veteran said, "None has told me yet officially about the Padma Bhushan award, and I am unaware of it. If the Centre has conferred me with the award, I am refusing it."
"In Jan 1973, the most powerful civil servant of our country was told he was being offered the Padma Vibhushan on his leaving the PMO. Here is PN Haksar's response to it. It is a classic, and worthy of emulation," his caption read.
In Jan 1973, the most powerful civil servant of our country was told he was being offered the Padma Vibhushan on his leaving the PMO. Here is PN Haksar's response to it. It is a classic, and worthy of emulation. pic.twitter.com/H1JVTvTyxe— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) January 25, 2022
Public refusal of Padma awards is extremely rare since the awardees are mandatorily informed about the award in advance and the list is announced only after their acceptance.
In this instance, home ministry officials explained saying Bhattacharjee's wife was conveyed the decision on Padma Bhushan and she had thanked the Home Secretary for it, reported NDTV channel.
Meanwhile on the selection of Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad for the Padma Bhushan award, party colleague Shashi Tharoor congratulated him soon after the announcements.
"Warm congratulations to Shri @ghulamnazad on his Padma Bhushan. It is good to be recognized for one's public service even by a government of the other side," his tweet read.
Azad is the second Congressman to receive a Padma award in the NDA regime. In 2008, Pranab Mukherjee was given Padma Vibhushan by the then UPA government. He received the Bharat Ratna award in 2019.