Indian Cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh were absent from Padma awards function, which was held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Tuesday. This has kicked up a storm.
Dhoni and Bhajji were to be honoured with the Padma Shree by President Pratibha Patil.
TV sources said that both the cricketers were busy shooting for an ad film due to which they failed to turn up for the event. They also missed the previous ceremony due to their tour of New Zealand.
Media reports quoted former coach Anshuman Gaekwad saying that both the cricketers have committed a "mistake". When asked about the same, Bhajji reportedly commented that he was busy with "some household work" and skipper Dhoni was not available for the comment.
ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair, Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, historian Ramachandra Guha and noted billiard player Pankaj Advani were among the 63 personalities who received the Padma awards.
The recipients also included social activist Sunderlal Bahuguna and veteran actor Helen Khan. While Nair received the Padma Vibhushan, Bindra and Guha received the Padma Bhusan. Advani and Helen also received the Padma Shri award.
The Padma Vibhushan winners also include Debi Prasad Chattopadhyaya who is chairman of the Centre for Studies in Civilisation and cardiologist Purshotam Lal and Bhakta Bhusan Rath, who is the head of the Materials Science and Component Technology Directorate at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, and economist Isher Judge Ahluwalia were conferred the Padma Bhusan.