Indore: A controversy erupted today after the kin of noted lyricist late Kavi Pradeep, best known for his patriotic song 'Aye Mere Watan ke Logon', alleged that the state government had not invited them for a ceremony where an award in his name will be given to poet Gopaldas "Neeraj" tomorrow.

"We are happy the Madhya Pradesh Government is giving the national award in memory of Kavi Pradeep during his birth anniversary year. However, we neither received any formal intimation for the function from the government nor were we invited to attend the ceremony," Kavi Pradeep's daughter Mitul Pradeep told PTI over phone from Mumbai.

"We would have been happy had we been invited for the function... I failed to understand why the state government has kept us away from the ceremony," Mitul said.

When contacted, the principal secretary of the state Culture Department, Manoj Srivastava dismissed the allegation that the government is neglecting the family members of Kavi Pradeep.

"The Rashtriya Kavi Pradeep ceremony in Bhopal is an official function of the state government and is open for all.

If family members of Kavi Pradeep want to take part in it they are welcome to do so," he said. The announcement of giving the annual national award in memory of Kavi Pradeep was made by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in 2011.

'Kavi' Pradeep, whose real name was Ramchandra Narayanji Dwivedi, was born in Badnagar town of Ujjain district on February 6, 1915.

In a career spanning over five decades, Kavi Pradeep wrote about 1,700 songs and nationalistic poems including the lyrics for some 72 films comprising hits like 'Chal Chal Re Naujawan' in film 'Bandhan' (1940), 'Aao Bachcho Tumhein Dikhayen' and 'De Dee Hame Azaadi Bina Khadag Bina Dhaal' in film 'Jagriti' (1954).

He was called the 'Rashtrakavi' (Poet Laureate) and came to be known as Kavi Pradeep. In 1997, he was honoured by the Dada Saheb Phalke Award.

'Aye Mere...' was performed live on January 27, 1963 by Lata Mangeshkar at the National Stadium in the presence of then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi, two months after the end of Indo-China war.