NEW DELHI: Convicted godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been recommended by over 4,200 people for this year’s Padma award. The recommendation for the award to Gurmeet is over 20 per cent of the total recommendations received so far, that stands at over 18,700.
Most of the recommendations, refer to him as Saint Dr Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan. Gurmeet, the chief of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, has himself recommended at least five times for the coveted awards, sources said. Earlier this week, Gurmeet was convicted in two rape cases and sentenced to 20 years in jail along with a penalty of Rs 30 lakh.
According to the list of recommendations or nominations for Padma Awards 2017, the Union home ministry received 18,768 applications.
The highest 4,208 recommendations, including two from 'Saintgorge William Sonet' and 'India Saintgorge', both from Hissar in Haryana, were received for conferring any one of the three Padma awards on the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda chief, reveal documents accessed by PTI.
All recommendations were marked in the name of 'Saint Dr Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan', also known as 'rockstar baba' and 'guru of bling', and almost all had come from Sirsa in Haryana, the headquarters of the Dera Sacha Sauda.
Gurmeet recommended 'himself' five times. While his address was given as Sirsa three times, on the other two applications he gave Hissar in Haryana and Ganganagar in Rajasthan, where he was born.
According to the documents, of the five recommendations, one was for 'Saint Dr Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan' by 'Saint Dr Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji InsanSaintgorge'.
The overwhelming majority of those who recommended the Dera chief's name for the highest civilian honour in the country used single names like Abha, Aditya, Akbar, Alfez, Baljinder, Milky, Gajal, Komal, Jony, Jesse and Ishwar.
An Amit, based in Sirsa, recommended Gurmeet's name 31 times, and a Sunil nominated him 27 times.
A few recommendations were also from his birthplace Ganganagar.
Most of the recommendations have come from Sirsa where Dera Sacha Sauda is headquartered, but a few of them have also come from Sriganganagar in Rajasthan, where he was born. His followers have recommended conferment of any of the three Padma awards to Ram rahim. Many of them have recommended Gurmeet’s name multiple times.
From 2016 onwards, the applications for the Padma awards are accepted by the Union Home Ministry online through a designated portal. The Padma awards is aimed at recognising exceptional achievements in any discipline including art, literature and education, sports, medicine, social work, science and engineering, public affairs, civil service, trade and industry.Applications for Padma Awards, are screened by a panel of eminent personalities, under the Padma Awards Committee, constituted by the PM every year.