A senior leader of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has opposed selection of veteran Congress leader Balasaheb Vikhe Patil for Padma Bhushan award.
"Vikhe Patil's Mula Pravara Electric Co-operative Society has defaulted on payment of Rs 1500 crore to Maharashtra Government, yet he has been considered for the honour," MNS leader Shirish Parkar told PTI here today.
"The cooperative is supposed to distribute power to farmers on behalf of MSEB and owes the body Rs 1500 crore. Vikhe Patil should not have been selected for the prestigious award," Parkar, who is MNS spokesperson, said.
Asked if it was the official stand of the MNS, he said, "I am speaking on my behalf. I don't know what Saheb (Raj Thackeray) has to say on this issue."
Incidentally, Vikhe Patil's father, late Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil, the pioneer of sugar co-operative movement in Maharashtra, was awarded the Padma Shri in 1961.
Parkar's statement comes two days after BJP deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde denounced the government’s decision to confer Padma Bhushan on New York-based Indian hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, who was till some time ago under CBI scanner in a bank fraud case.
Munde wrote to the President and Prime Minister, saying Chatwal’s controversial financial dealings made him undeserving of the award.