Kolkata, Jan 27 : Trinamool Congress has criticised the UPA government for nominating industrialist Ratan Tata and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee for Padma Vibhusan, the second highest civilian award of the country.
Trinamool Congress' president Mamta Banerjee has called for a public debate on the Padma awards, citing partisanship in giving these awards.
Cadres of the Trinamool Congress, the main opposition party in West Bengal, shouted anti-government slogans and burnt effigies of Mukherjee and Tata.
"We strongly feel that the UPA Government has wrongly awarded Padma Vibhushan to them," said Madan Mitra, a Trinamool Congress activist.
Recently, West Bengal has been the centre of massive protests over acquisition of agricultural land for setting up of mega industrial projects in Nandigram andingur.
The Trianamool Congress had opposed Ratan Tata's car project in Singur district and violent clashes have been reported from time to time between party activists and ruling CPI (M) cadres.
Tata Motors, a unit of Indian conglomerate Tata Group is poised to roll out the world's cheapest car, for 100,000 rupees from Singur plant.
The project is billed as key to rejuvenation of West Bengal. The Left Front is an ally of the UPA Government and Pranab Mukherjee too hails from the State.
This year the UPA Government has honoured 13 people with Padmaibhushan, 35 with Padma Bhushan and 71 with Padma Shri.