Days after honouring former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee with Bharat Ratna, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government is reportedly mulling to confer Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award in the country, on former deputy PM Lal Krishna Advani.
According to the sources, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, noted yoga guru Baba Ramdev, southern superstar Rajinikant and Shiromani Akali Dal patron and Chief Minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal may also be honoured with Padma awards this year.
Besides the above-mentioned celebrities, Hindi cinema veteran Dilip Kumar, noted film director-producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali, script writer and lyricist Salim Khan and renowned ad film-maker Prasoon Joshi’s names also figures in the list of 148 hopefuls for this year’s Padma awards, the sources said.
From the sports world, the names of hockey team captain Sardara Singh, badminton player PV Sindhu, chess grandmaster Sasikiran Krishnan, wrestler Sushil Kumar, his coach Satpal and Arunima Sinha – the first women amputee mountaineer to climb Mount Everest – are being considered.
Renowned economist Bibek Debroy, who is also a member of NITI Aayog, journalist and India TV chairperson Rajat Sharma, Swapan Dasgupta, Hari Shankar Vyas, late actor Pran have also been nominated for the award.
Former bureaucrats whose names figure in the list are former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami, KS Bajpai, PV Rajaraman. Agriculture economist Ashok Gulati, senior lawyers Harish Salve, KK Venugopal and constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap.
HCL chairman and business tycoon Shiv Nadar, YK Hamid of Cipla and TV Mohandas Pai (formerly of Infosys) have also made it to the list.
From art and culture, the recipients include A Kanyakumari (Carnatic violinist), Girija Devi (Hindustani vocalist), L Subramaniam (musician), Malini Awasthi (folk singer), Smriti Biswas (actor), Sudha Raghunathan (Carnatic vocalist), music directors Anu Malik and Ravindra Jain and Assamese film director Jahnu Barua.