MUMBAI: Padma awards are given only to the “dishonest” and those from the upper echelons of society, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav said and asked socialist-minded people to spurn the honour, in remarks that could stoke a controversy.
“Samajwadi people (Socialists) should spurn Padmashri and Padmabhushan (uspe laat maarna chahiye)….These awards are given to only those people who are dishonest (beimaan).. these are given only to people from high echelons of society,” Yadav said, speaking at a felicitation ceremony organized to honour a senior socialist leader here on Friday night.
Yadav said not a single dalit, adivasi or farmer figured in the list of Padma awardees this year.
Speaking to the media after the event, Yadav stuck to his guns, saying “Whatever I have said, I have said.”
“I said not a single dalit, adivasi, farmer is there in the list (of this year’s awardees). This has been happening for the last 68 years,” he said.
Yadav had recently triggered a controversy in Parliament with his remarks about the body and complexion of south Indian women while speaking about discrimination on the basis of the colour of the skin.