Padma Shree Declined by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's Sister Gita Mehta
On the eve of Republic Day on Friday names of Padma Shree recipients for 2019 were announced. However one of the recipient, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's sister Gita Mehta, had declined the award.
She was being awarded one if the highest civilian award Padma Shree for her work in the field of literature and education.
However, in a press conference statement given by her in New York, she refused ti accept it claiming the timing of the award not correct considering the elections nearing. "I am deeply honoured that the Government of India should think me worthy of a Padma Shri but with great regret I feel I must decline as there is a general election looming and the timing of the award might be misconstrued, causing embarrassment both to the government and myself, which I would much regret," Mehta said in the statement.
Many suspects that the reason for the centre (BJP) to give this award to Gita was to get the support of BJD in case of need in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Also Hours after Gita's statement, Naveen Patnaik took to Twitter to congratulate the Padma awardees from Odisha, skipping his sister's name.