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UP: Yogi govt to review Yash Bharti awards given away by Akhilesh Yadav regime

Questioning the selection process adopted by the previous government, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister said honouring undeserving people lowers the dignity of the Yash Bharti awards.

lucknow Updated: Apr 21, 2017 14:55 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Lucknow, Hindustan Times
Yogi Adityanath,Yogi government,Yash Bharti awards
The Yash Bharti award is considered to be the highest state honour for excellence in the fields of literature, art and culture, education and sports.(HT File Photo)

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered a review of the Yash Bharti awards conferred on personalities from various fields during the previous Samajwadi Party regime.

The awards were instituted in 1994 by then chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav to honour eminent personalities from the state. The tradition of giving away the honour – which includes a cash award of Rs 11 lakh and Rs 50,000 in monthly lifetime pension – continued under the rule of his son, Akhilesh Yadav.

However, there were allegations of the awards being given away arbitrarily. Among the awardees in the field of “excellence in journalism” were two scribes reportedly associated with Akhilesh’s office.

Issuing the direction while the awards were being presented by the state culture department on Thursday night, Adityanath said: “What was the basis for selecting awardees? Appropriate action will be taken after the review. The dignity of the awards should be maintained. Honouring undeserving people lowers the dignity of the awards.”

Official sources said the Rs 50,000 monthly pension may be cancelled if the inquiry establishes misuse. Some previous awardees, including members of the Bachchan family, did not avail of it.

Prominent people presented with the Yash Bharti awards over the years include eminent poets Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Bashir Badar; singers Shubha Mudgal, Rekha Bhardwaj, Anop Jalota and Kailash Kher; cricketer Bhuwaneshwar Kumar; and Bollywood star Jimmy Shergil.

Adityanath did not indicate if the review would also apply to awards granted by regimes preceding that of Akhilesh.

Besides this, the chief minister directed his officials to explore the possibility of setting up Bhatkhande Sangeet Sansthan centres in several districts of the state. “This will help students who want to pursue courses in music,” he said.

(With inputs from Gulam Jeelani in New Delhi)

First Published: Apr 21, 2017 12:27 IST