The Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government has set up a committee headed by state Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray to recommend names of eminent personalities for the Padma awards to be declared next year.
The BJP has opposed the development, saying Aaditya Thackeray is not eligible for the position as his name has already been “surfaced in a court case”.
A Government Resolution (GR) published on August 11 said the Centre had directed the state government to recommend the names for the Padma awards that will be declared on January 26, 2021.
Accordingly, a nine-member committee headed by Aaditya Thackeray, who heads Protocol and Environment portfolios, has been constituted, the GR said.
Aaditya Thackeray is a son of Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.
The other members of the committee are Industries Minister Subhash Desai, Animal Husbandry Minister Sunil Kedar, Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh, Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant, Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde, Minister of State for Industries Aditi Tatkare, Minister of State for Forests Dattatraya Bharne.
Principal Secretary (Protocol) is the member secretary of the committee, it said.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council Praveen Darekar said there were many deserving ministers in the state cabinet who could have headed the committee.
“There are several ministers in the Cabinet who could chair such committee. Aaditya Thackeray’s name has already surfaced in a court case. Such person should not be heading any committee,” the BJP leader said in an apparent reference to actor Sushant Singh Rajput death case.
During Tuesday’s hearing in the supreme court on a plea linked to the Sushant Singh Rajput case, senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Bihar, had said there was no “political pressure”.
He was referring to an FIR registered by the Patna Police against the late actor’s Mumbai-based girlfriend and actress Rhea Chakraborty who had moved the top court seeking transfer of the case to Mumbai.
The FIR was lodged by Sushant Singh Rajput’s father K K Singh accusing Rhea Chakraborty and others of abetting suicide of his son, who was found hanging at his Bandra apartment on June 14.
While arguing that the FIR lodged at Patna is “legal and valid”, Maninder Singh had told the supreme court that allegations have been made based on media reports against the Bihar chief minister but there were reports also about alleged role of Maharashtra chief minister’s son.
Aaditya Thackeray had earlier said he and his family were being targeted for no reason in Sushant Singh Rajput death case and stressed he was nowhere related to the matter.