Mamata alleges political manipulation in Padma awards

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{image-mamata banerjee_27012008.jpg}Kolkata, Jan 27: Alleging that 'Padma awards have become political awards', Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee today said political consideration, and not any contribution, was the reason for honouring External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee with Padma Vibhushan.

''Why has Pranab Mukherjee been given Padma Vibhusan. What is his contribution to the country?'' she said at a meeting. Ms Banerjee also criticized awarding the Padma Vibhushan title to industrialist Ratan Tata and alleged that political consideration played a role behind his selection for the award.
The Trinamool leader, who in the past had taken swipe against Mr Tata several times for his small car venture at Singur, had been spearheading a long-drawn movement in West Bengal against the project.

However, she was more critical of Mr Mukherjee today. ''Pranab Mukherjee is CPI (M)'s spokesman in West Bengal and in Delhi. He plays to the tune of the Congress's top leadership,'' she alleged. The Trinamool leader also criticized giving the Padma Sree award to Bula Chowdhury saying her party treated the ace swimmer only as a CPI(M) MLA.


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