Kolkata | Jagran News Desk: Veteran CPI(M) leader and former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Tuesday rejected the Padma Bhushan award.

“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,” he said in a statement.

According to CPI(M) sources, it was a decision of Bhattacharjee and also the party.

Soon after the former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has refused the Padma Bhushan and said that he had no idea about the award, the Government sources on Tuesday clarified that his family was well-informed about it in the morning and at that time no intent of rejection was expressed.
Bhattacharjee is among 17 Padma Bhushan awardees, the government announced on the eve of 73rd Republic Day.

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"It is factually incorrect that the family was not informed about the government's decision to Besto him with this honour," government sources were quoted as saying by ANI.

A very senior official from the Ministry of Home Affairs had called up the Bhattacharjee household and spoken to his wife, the ANI sources said.

"At that time no intent of rejection was expressed by the wife or anybody else from the family. The government release the list of awards is only late in the night therefore it is being assumed that this could have been a political afterthought," the source quoted above further said.

The government announced 128 Padma awards this year including four Padma Vibushan and 107 Padma Shri. India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh were posthumously awarded Padma Vibhushan.

- With inputs from ANI and PTI

Posted By: Mukul Sharma