The Hush Post| 2:49 pm | 1-min- read
Gita Mehta, an esteemed author and elder sister of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik declines to accept Padma Shri. The award was announced by the Government of India on the eve of Republic Day. However, the New York based author quoted that the timing of her accepting the award might be ‘misunderstood’ just few months before the forthcoming general elections. Gita Mehta is married to Sonny Mehta, who is a renowned Publisher.
Mehta was about to be awarded for her incredible work in ‘Literature and Education’. In the press statement released from New York, she said, “I am honored that the Government of India thought of me worthy for Padma Shri. But with regret I feel I must decline as there is a general election looming. Thus the timing of the award might be misconstrued. This can cause embarrassment both to the government and myself, which I would much regret.”
According to some unknown officials, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set up a meeting with Mehta and her husband Sonny Mehta, months before the award was announced. The move was seen as an attempt by BJP to inch closer to BJD leader Naveen Patnaik.
Patnaik is contesting against Modi’s BJP for a fifth term to the Odisha state government. Congress claimed that BJP and BJD have a silent agreement. On Friday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi alleged that Modi had been “remote- controlling Patnaik”.