Aditya Thackeray to lead panel to recommend names for Padma awards, BJP says he is inexperienced

Aditya Thackeray to lead panel to recommend names for Padma awards, BJP says he is inexperienced

The Maharashtra government has formed a panel with Aditya Thackeray as its chairman to suggest names for the prestigious Padma awards. This has sparked a controversy with Opposition BJP slamming the decision.

The BJP has opposed the development, saying Aaditya Thackeray is not eligible for the position as his name has already been "surfaced in a court case".

BJP has called the move “unconventional” citing his age and experience as a minister. BJP leader Pravin Darekar has also raised the Sushant Singh Rajput case and Aditya Thackeray’s name surfacing in the matter. "Aditya Thackeray has been mentioned by one of the lawyers in the Supreme Court, so it will not be proper to allow him to lead this committee," Darekar said.

Sources have said that NCP president Sharad Pawar has also called the decision “surprising”. Pawar has reportedly told Shiv Sena leaders that someone senior from the cabinet should have ideally lead the committee. There were reports that Sharad Pawar has been unhappy with Uddhav Thackeray's way of handling the government and especially with his reliance on the bureaucracy.

Aditya Thackeray was recently in the news as he was targeted by BJP leaders in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case while Aditya personally denied the claims.

A Government Resolution (GR) published on August 11 said the Centre had directed the state government to recommend the names for the Padma awards that will be declared on January 26, 2021.

Accordingly, a nine-member committee headed by Aaditya Thackeray, who heads Protocol and Environment portfolios, has been constituted, the GR said. Aaditya Thackeray is a son of Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

The other members of the committee are Industries Minister Subhash Desai, Animal Husbandry Minister Sunil Kedar, Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh, Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant, Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde, Minister of State for Industries Aditi Tatkare, Minister of State for Forests Dattatraya Bharne.