Panaji: Under previous regimes, the prestigious Padma awards were given only to people from elite circles who spoke flawless English and had a lot of political clouts, while under Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s leadership, the underprivileged have also been presented with the award, Goa BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanavade said on Monday.

He said: “Earlier, the Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and other awards were presented to only rich people. Ordinary people never received this award until now when so many common people received the award from the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence of our Hon`ble Prime Minister and Home Minister.”

“Therefore, people love PM Modi from their heart. Only those belonging to hi-fi societies, and are used to lobbying for Padma awards do not appreciate him,” he said.

“These awards were earlier given only to the rich, who had several important political connections. Today, a woman who does not wear chappals has also received the Padma Shri. This government recognises even poor people`s contribution to society and awards them. Show me even one photo of common people being awarded during the tenure of the Congress,” he added.

Talking about India`s need for firm leadership and citing the example of a collapsing Afghanistan, Tanavade said: “I feel that people of this country know what kind of a government they want. If the leader of the country is firm, then the country makes progress, otherwise, it creates an Afghanistan-like situation. If there is firm leadership, then the country also becomes firm.”

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