A contradiction in ideology among the allies in Maharashtra--Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress emerged once again, this time, over the bestowment of Padma Shri on singer-musician Adnan Sami. Breaking ranks with its ally Congress and NCP, Shiv Sena backed the Centre's decision. Shiv Sena Lok Sabha MP Gajanan Kirtikar backing the Modi government, claimed that the Padma Awards process entailed a thorough inquiry on all the prospective names, further opined that there was no scope for arbitrariness in the process. The Shiv Sena leader also contended that there was no need to object to Adnan Sami being granted the Padma Shri.
Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar said, "During the process for the Padma awards, there is a thorough nationwide inquiry. The recommendation from the state which he hails from, the recommendation from the organization which he is a part of, is required. Moreover, there is a proper inquiry. A decision is taken only after an inquiry. There is no arbitrariness in such a decision. Whatever (award) is given, it is right. There is no need to raise an objection to the decision."
Holding a differing opinion than that of ally Shiv Sena, NCP's Nawab Malik on Monday termed the government's decision to confer famous singer Adnan Sami with the Padma Shri award as an “insult” to the people of India. He contended that the move was a “damage control exercise” to prove that the government does not discriminate against Pakistani Muslims in wake of the massive protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Furthermore, he alleged that any citizen of Pakistan who praised the Modi government could get Indian citizenship.
Nawab Malik said, “It is a clear-cut case that if anybody from Pakistan chants ‘Jai Modi’, he will get citizenship of the country as well as he can get the Padma Shri award. Due to CAA, a lot of people are agitating against the government. In the world, people are saying what is happening in this country. Giving the award to Adnan Sami is a damage control exercise. The government wants to prove that we are giving citizenship to Pakistani citizens and we are awarding Padma Shri. It is an insult to the people of the country. Are original Indians not competent?”
Taking a synonomous stand, the Congress party on Sunday took on the Modi government, questioning why Kargil War veteran Mohmmad Sannaullah was declared a foreigner through the NRC for Assam, while the son of a Pakistan Air Force pilot has been conferred with one of India's highest civilian honour. Hitting out at the Centre, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said, "Kargil War veteran and retired army officer Mohammad Sanaullah who fought for India declared 'foreigner' after NRC and Adnan Sami whose family fought against India honoured with Padma Shri--This is the magic of NRC and government chamchagiri."
Adnan Sami was one of the 118 people whose names were announced on Saturday for the Padma Shri awards, with the Ministry of Home Affairs list showing his home state as Maharashtra. Sami, born in London to a Pakistani Air force veteran, applied for Indian citizenship in 2015 and became a citizen of the country within a year in January 2016.