Karnataka ministers join fans in demanding posthumous Padma Shri for Puneeth Rajkumar

The demand had been raised even by two sitting ministers, BC Patil and Anand Singh.
Late Kannada superstar Puneeth Rajkumar
Late Kannada superstar Puneeth Rajkumar
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There’s a growing demand for Puneeth Rajkumar to be awarded a ‘Padma Shri’ posthumously. Fans of Puneeth Rajkumar have been demanding that he be awarded a Padma Shri, posthumously. And now, two current ministers of the Karnataka government have joined the demand. Ministers BC Patil and Anand Singh have urged Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to take the recommendation to the Union Government 

Puneeth Rajkumar died on October 29 of a cardiac arrest. Considered one of the stars of Kannada cinema, Puneeth was the youngest of five children of actor and Kannada icon Dr Rajkumar. Puneeth was 46 years old.

Agriculture Minister BC Patil said that Puneeth Rajkumar should have been awarded the Padma Shri when he was alive for his achievements, but unfortunately, as he was no longer alive, it had to be given to him posthumously.

"As a fan, I too join the other fans in their demand. Being a part of the government, I urge the Chief Minister to recommend the same to the Union Government. Puneeth is qualified for it not only as an actor, but also for his service to the society," the actor-turned-politician said, adding that if the matter comes before the Cabinet it will get unanimous consent.

Minister for Tourism Anand Singh said, "Puneeth Rajkumar wanted to serve mankind, he had joined us in several campaigns for public good like pulse polio campaign, when I was into social service. I extend my support to the demand seeking Padma Shri for him."

Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the state, Siddaramaiah had recently urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to award the Padma Shri posthumously to Puneeth. "The love and affection Power Star Puneeth Rajkumar has gained is bigger than any title or award. I urge the Prime Minister of India to award Padma Shri posthumously to Puneeth Rajkumar. His acting and contribution to society deserves even more accolades," he had tweeted.

Kannada Actor Prem too wished that Puneeth Rajkumar be given the Padma Shri award at the earliest.

Recently Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, responding to a question by the media on such a demand, said, "There are rules on when and people from which sectors should be recommended for Padma awards, it will be in a way a unanimous recommendation for Puneeth Rajkumar. As a government considering everything, we will take a decision." He said the entire state and the government has love and respect for Puneeth Rajkumar.

Padma Shri is one of the highest civilian honours of India announced annually on the eve of Republic Day, for distinguished service.

Puneeth, popularly known as 'Appu' and 'Powerstar', by his fans, made his screen debut when he was just six-months-old, in the film Premada Kanike. He later won a national award as a child artist for the film Bettada Hoovu. After a series of films as a child actor, he became a lead actor in 2002 and went on to star in 29 films, delivering some big hits.

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