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BJP expresses surprise over Padma award to Chatwal

New Delhi, Jan 26 (Calcutta Tube) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday expressed ‘surprise’ over the government announcing Padma Bhushan for non-resident Indian hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal despite controversy over some of his financial deals.

BJP spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said such awards should not be given to people facing controversies. ‘People have expectations that these awards are given to persons who have worked in the public sphere and are not controversial,’ he said.

‘We had brought controversies faced by him (Chatwal) to the knowledge of the government. They have ignored our suggestion,’ Naqvi added.

BJP deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing disapproval over the government’s move to bestow Padma Bhushan on Chatwal.

Munde told mediapersons later that if a mistake has been made, the government should rectify it.

Chatwal had faced trials in India in connection with an alleged bank fraud. He is considered close to former US president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton.

Speaking to Headlines Today over phone, Chatwal said he felt ‘very proud’ over the United Progressive Alliance government bestowing the high civilian honour on him.

Terming the controversy over the alleged bank fraud as ‘old stories,’ Chatwal said he loved India and had worked hard for the country.

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