BJP on Wednesday insisted that the government's decision to bestow Padma Bhushan on controversial hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal was a "mistake" and it has shown political bankruptcy by rewarding a "broker".
"The UPA government is committing mistakes after mistakes, one by one. Now they have given Padma Bhushan to Sant Singh Chatwal, who had earlier declared himself bankrupt," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
"What can be more politically bankrupt that to honour one who has declared himself bankrupt," he added.
Chatwal had been charge-sheeted by CBI in a $ nine million fraud case connected with the State Bank of India.
The main opposition sought to know what were the achievements of Chatwal that the government found him worthy of this award.
"Chatwal has claimed that he brokered the Indo-US nuclear deal. Since when did this convention of honouring brokers come into being?" Javadekar sought to know.
Earlier, BJP Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde had written a letter to President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against the decision and demanded that the award be withdrawn.
Following BJP's attack over the issue, Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed yesterday said: in general, the party wants these awards to be given to people who enhance its prestige and not to those with a taint.
Some activists and senior journalists plan to file an RTI application to know how Chatwal - who reportedly did not figure in the initial list of Padma awardees - managed to get the honour.