Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily said on Thursday that the Narendra Modi government's decision to confer Padma Bhushan on veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was a political one and not based on merit.
He said that the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister should not accept the award if he thinks that it harms the interest of the Congress party.
"Narendra Modi took a political decision," Mr Moily claimed in an interview to news agency PTI. "They have taken a decision politically; not weighing on any merit or otherwise. Now, it's for him (Ghulam Nabi Azad) to take a decision (on whether to accept or decline the award)."
The former Union Minister, who was among the Congress group of 23 leaders who wrote to the party chief Sonia Gandhi in 2020 seeking internal reforms, said Ghulam Nabi Azad should think whether it's in the interest of the party or not before accepting it.
Noting that Mr Azad is a senior member of the Congress who had also served as Union Minister, the former Karnataka Chief Minister said he has to weigh the pros and cons on whether accepting the award will harm the interest of the party.
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