`VIPs nominated relatives, friends for Padma awards`
New Delhi: The list of recommendations for this year`s Padma awards shows that some people had suggested multiple candidates while others had pushed for their relatives and friends for the coveted civil honours, an RTI reply revealed.
The list of 1,300 recommendations made public by the Home Ministry in an RTI reply shows that Congress leader Motilal Vora, Minister Rajeev Shukla, MP T Subbarami Reddy, classical singer Pandit Jasraj, among others, had recommended multiple names for the awards.
Bharat Ratna awardee Lata Mangeshkar had recommended three names -- sister Usha Mangeshkar, playback singer Suresh Wadkar and social worker Rajmal Parakh.
Recipient of Padma Vibhushan, sarod player Ustad Amjad Ali, had made six recommendations -- his sons Amaan and Ayaan, Hindustani classical singer Kaushiki Chakrabarty, tabla player Vijay Ghate, art promoter Soorya Krishnamurthy alias Nataraja Krishnamoorthy and sitar player Niladri Kumar.
Former SP leader Amar Singh recommended Rajya Sabha member Jaya Prada for the awards.
However, Usha Mangeshkar, Amaan and Ayaan did not make it to the Padma awards list announced this year, as per the MHA website.
Well-known classical singer Pandit Jasraj had made nine recommendations for the awards, while Rajiv Shukla had made five, Motilal Vora eight, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had recommended two theatre personalities, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had suggested two names and Congress MP Vijay Darda had nominated three persons.
RTI activist Subhash Agrawal claimed that hectic lobbying for Padma awards has become an unavoidable feature especially in fields like `medicine` and `trade and industry`, as these awards monetarily benefit the awardees.
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