CM Gogoi says four Assam Padma awardees selected on ‘behest of BJP leaders’

GUWAHATI(PTI): Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday stoked a controversy by claiming that all the four recipients of this year’s Padma awards from the state were selected at the “behest of some BJP leaders”.

“None recommended by the state government was given the Padma award this year. If the Centre didn’t want to give it as per our recommendations, why did they seek the list?” Gogoi asked during a press conference.

The state government had sent a list of 28 names for consideration for Padma Shri awards, he said.
“On whose recommendation were the four persons from the state given Padma Shri? It was done perhaps at the behest of some BJP leaders,” Gogoi said, adding this was against the spirit of cooperative federalism and ‘Team India’ being talked about by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
Dhirendra Nath Bezbaruah (Literature and Education), Prahlad Chandra Tasa (Literature and Education), Kameshwaram Brahma (Literature and Education – Journalism) and Ajoy Kumar Dutta (Social Work) won Padma Shri from Assam this year.
Gogoi said the Assam tableau was included in the Republic Day parade in New Delhi only after he personally intervened and took up the matter with the defence minister.

“We do not want to go for confrontation, but we will fight if denied our right,” he added.