Mumbai, Jan 27, 2020: Amid a row over Pakistani-origin singer Adnan Sami, who became an Indian citizen in 2016, being chosen for Padma Shri award, the Nationalist Congress Party on Monday termed it as an "insult" to the 130 crore Indians, NDTV reported.
In a dig, Maharashtra Minorities Development Minister and NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik also said that any Pakistani citizen can now avail Indian citizenship by chanting ’’Jai Modi’’.
Mr Sami, born in London to a Pakistani Air force veteran, applied for Indian citizenship in 2015 and became a citizen of the country in January 2016.
He 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.
"If anyone from Pakistan chants ’’Jai Modi’’, he can now get citizenship of India as well as a Padma Shri award. Selection of Sami for the award is a damage control exercise," said Mr Malik.
The NCP leader later tweeted that many Indian Muslims deserved the honours conferred by the country.
"Conferring the prestigious #PadmaShri award to #AdnanSami is an insult to 130 Cr Indians. #NDA govt is trying to do damage control on the questions raised by Indians and people around the world on the issue of #CAA, #NRC and #NPR," he tweeted.
"There are many Indian Muslims who deserve the honours conferred by our country. By giving #Padmashri to #Sami this current govt is trying to show that they are fair but in reality this is just a cover up to the problems they have created for large sections of Indian society," he added.