MUMBAI: Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have opposed the Padma Shri conferred upon Pakistan-born singer Adnan Sami.
While the NCP has termed the award as a clear case of bias and said that anyone who hails Modi can get the Padma, the MNS has warned of an agitation against the decision and continuing it till the decision is reversed.
“The true face of BJP government under Modi is unmasked with the decision to grant Padma award to Pakistani singer Adnan Sami. It shows how a Pakistani citizen can get Indian citizenship and also a Padma award if he hails Modi. Indians, however, will have to furnish proofs of their citizenship,” said NCP leader Nawab Malik who is also the minority affairs minister in the MVA government in Maharashtra.
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“This policy is very clear. You’ll be beaten up if you are against the BJP. This is sheer insult to the people of India,” Malik added.
The issue was earlier raised by Amey Khopkar, President of the MNS’s cinema wing.
“Sami is not an original Indian citizen. MNS is of the view that he should not be given any award. We condemn the decision to honour him with Padma Shri and demand that the decision be withdrawn,” Khopkar said on Monday.
“We shall strike agitation and shall continue till the decision is withdrawn,” he added.
Sami was among the 118 people on whom the Padma Shri award was conferred. The Ministry of Home Affairs list has shown his home state as Maharashtra.
Sami was granted Indian citizenship with effect from January 1, 2016, after his Pakistani passport expired on May 26, 2015, and was not renewed there.
Born in Lahore in Pakistan, Sami first arrived in India on a one-year visitor visa on March 13, 2001.