Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said that veteran actress Asha Parekh had approached him seeking recommendation for Padma Bhushan and that many others have been "chasing" him as they want the highest civilian honours. He said giving away Padma awards has become a "headache" these days.
Asha Parekh and Nitin Gadkari
The Padma Bhushan is the third highest civilian award. "(We) receive so many letters for Padmashree and Padma Bhushan recommendations. I have sent around thousand recommendations until now," the minister said.
"One actress met me, she has turned old... Asha Parekh. She came to meet me in Mumbai. The lift to my residence was not working, she climbed up 12 floors. I felt very bad and asked her why she took the trouble. She said I have received Padmashree, Nitinji, now I want Padma Bhushan. I said you have received a Padmashree, it is like Padma Bhushan. She said no," he added.
Gadkari claimed that Parekh had told him that she was entitled for the Padma Bhushan due to her massive contribution in the film industry. Efforts to get Parekh’s reaction did not fructify.
Parekh, 73, was honoured with Padmashree in 1992, and Lifetime Achievement award in 2014. She was one of the top film stars from 1959 to 1973 and had worked with all top heroes of her time.