President Kovind upset over I&B's mishandling of National Awards

New Delhi, May 5:The Rashtrapati Bhavan has conveyed to the Prime Ministers Office its unhappiness at the manner in which the office of the President was dragged into a controversy over the National Awards due to what it sees as mismanagement on the part of the ministry of information and broadcasting, two senior government officials familiar with the development said.

Around 50 award winners skipped the ceremony on Thursday stating they were disappointed and dejected that President Ram Nath Kovind would hand over only 11 honours and that this was conveyed to the awardees only a day before the event. An MIB official said on Thursday that a few disgruntled elements were responsible for the controversy.

One of the officials cited in the first instance expressed surprise at the controversy because Rashtrapati Bhavan had already informed MIB weeks in advance about the President presenting only 11 awards. The official also expressed dismay at the furore on social media over the President presenting only 11 awards. Its a breach of faith by MIB. The impression created that it was a last minute decision taken by the office of the President is wrong and has demeaned the institution. The turn of events has distressed the President and it has been communicated to the PMO.

A Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson had said that it has been the practice ever since President Kovind took over that, except for Republic Day or very important meetings, he spends only up to an hour at all functions. In keeping with this, he had alloted one hour for the national awards ceremony.