Bhattacharjee wants to be ‘Azad’ not ‘Ghulam’: Jairam Ramesh’s cryptic dig

Ramesh took a veiled dig at Ghulam Nabi Azad, who has also been conferred with the award

After it was announced that Bhattacharya has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest award, the veteran CPI(M) leader said that he was rejecting it

Soon after former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee declined the Padma Bhusan, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday took a veiled dig at party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who has also been chosen for the third-highest civilian award.

“Right thing to do. He wants to be Azad not Ghulam,” Ramesh said in a tweet, after Bhattacharya declined the Padma award.

Veteran Congress leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was part of the group of 23 which has been critical of the party leadership and has sought an organisational overhaul, has been chosen to be awarded the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to public affairs.

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Soon after the names of the awardees were announced on the eve of Republic Day, Bhatacharjee, a veteran CPI(M) leader said he refuses to accept it.

Also read: Gen Rawat gets Padma Vibhushan; Padma Bhushan for Nadella, Pichai

“I know nothing about this award. No one has told me anything about it. If they have decided to offer Padma Bhushan to me, I refuse to accept it,” Bhattacharjee said in a statement.

Official sources said that the Union Home Ministry informed the wife of the ailing CPI(M) leader about the government’s decision to give him Padma Bhushan before announcing his name and no one from his family had objected to it.

(With inputs from agencies)

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