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BJP Disappointed Over Padma Bhushan To Chatwal

PTI 26 Jan 2010, 8:38:42 AM IST

BJP expressed its disappointment over the government's decision to award the Padma Bhushan to NRI hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal and sent a letter to President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that the award be taken back. 

Deputy Leader of the party in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde wrote a letter to the President and Prime Minister expressing disapproval over the UPA government's decision to bestow the prestigious Padma Bhushan on Chatwal, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said. 

Munde in his letter alleged that due to Chatwal's controversial financial dealings he did not deserve the honour and it should be taken back. 

In the list of Padma awardees announced on the eve of Republic Day today, Chatwal is one among the Padma Bhushan recipients. 

Chatwal, who is considered close to former US President Bill Clinton and his wife and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was earlier chargesheeted by the CBI for an alleged USD 9 million fraud case connected with the State Bank of India. He had allegedly defaulted on paying back the money he owed to the bank. 

The letter also mentions the CBI case against Chatwal in which he was even arrested in Mumbai but got bail and left the country. 

The hotelier was acquitted in one of the four cases in 2008 but since the Director of Prosecution opposed an appeal in the matter, the case was closed. 

Chatwal had recently announced that his Hampshire Hotels chain would set up 25 hotels in India by 2011. PTI