New Delhi, Jan 25 The government on Monday conferred the Padma Bhushan award posthumously on former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel .
One of the tallest Dalit leaders from Bihar and the founder of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Paswan passed away on October 8 last year, just ahead of the crucial Bihar assembly polls. He had undergone heart surgery days before his death.
He was the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs in the Narendra Modi-led Union government.
The government also conferred three-time Assam Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Tarun Gogoi with Padma Bhushan posthumously.
Gogoi passed away on November 23 last year after recovering from Covid-19.
Gogoi rose from grassroots politics to steer the restive northeastern state towards order and development after decades of bloody insurgency. He became a Lok Sabha MP for the first time in 1971. He remained the Lok Sabha member till 2001. He is also the state's longest-serving chief minister between 2001 and 2016.
The government also conferred the Padma Bhushan award to former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel posthumously. Patel became the first BJP Chief Minister of Gujarat in 1995. He passed away on October 29 last year after recovering from Covid at the age of 93.
Patel was a worker of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and was popularly called Keshubapa in the state.
Besides these three tall leaders, the government also conferred the Padma Bhushan on former Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan and former bureaucrat Nripendra Mishra, who served as Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi between 2014 and 2019.
The government also conferred the Padma Bhushan on former Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Tarlochan Singh.
The government also conferred the Padma Shri award on former Union Minister and former BJP MP from Assam's Guwahati Bijoya Chakravarty.
The list of the Padma Shri winners included Colonel Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir, who defected from the Pakistani Army to join the Bangladeshi Liberation War in 1971.