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Netizens school Priyanka Chaturvedi, Jawhar Sircar and others for alleging ‘disrespect’ of President, explain why PM Modi was sitting when Advani was awarded Bharat Ratna

People who targeted PM Modi forgot that when the president hands over awards in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, only the president and the awardee remain standing, and everyone else in the hall remains seated.

After the President of India conferred the Bharat Ratna on BJP stalwart LK Advani at his residence, the usual suspects have been peddling a picture of the felicitation ceremony with misleading claims to target PM Narendra Modi. They point out that in the picture, President Droupadi Murmu is seen standing while PM Modi is sitting on a chair beside BJP veteran Advani, accusing PM Modi of disrespecting the President and democratic institutions.

Taking to X, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi shared the picture to target PM Modi and wrote, “The lady standing is the President of India while the PM of India is seated. Caption the pic please?”

Accusing PM Modi of disrespecting the Constitutional Head, Journalist Swati Chaturvedi wrote, “Dear God, what optics. The President of India is standing & his majesty Modi is sitting. Advani being seated is still excusable. Why can’t Modi extend any respect to Constitutional head & institutions.”

TMC’s Rajya Sabha MP Jawhar Sircar went further, calling PM Modi’s actions as ‘very low culture’.    

He stated, “If this widely-circulated photo is true  — then it speaks of PM’s very low culture  — to make the President of India stand  — while he sits and laughs. Govt must clarify !”

However, these people forgot that when the president hands over awards in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, only the president and the awardee remain standing, and everyone else in the hall remains seated. This can be seen in photos and videos of various such ceremonies earlier. In case the recipient is not able to stand up due to some health issues of old age, they also remain seated, usually in a wheelchair, and the president stands up to give the award even to such persons.

LK Advani was given the award at his residence by the president because he could not go to the Rashtrapati Bhavan due to his old age and poor health, and therefore he was sitting in a chair while receiving the award. Similarly, PM Modi was present there to attend the ceremony, and he remained seated just like attendees of such ceremonies in Rashtrapati Bhavan remain seated.

Responding to Priyanka Chaturvedi’s tweet, Ashok Malik, who was the Press Secretary of President Ram Nath Kovind from 2017 to 2019, schooled her on the protocols of Rashtrapati Bhavan. He pointed out that as per the protocol, the awardee and President, both stand for the picture while others gathered for the felicitation ceremony are seated and are not needed to stand. 

Malik explained, “Don’t want to get into a political argument here, but Rashtrapati Bhavan protocol has the President and recipient both standing, while other guests — including the Vice-President and Prime Minister — are seated. If the recipient is elderly or indisposed he/she may stay seated.”  

He added, “This event did not take place in Rashtrapati Bhavan, but obviously the usual protocol was followed.” 

CEO of BlueKraft Digital Foundation, Akhilesh Mishra slammed the netizens for peddling the picture with unfound allegations. 

He wrote, “The level of illiteracy in Indian media is mind boggling. When Predident is standing and presenting an award, no one, repeat no one, is supposed to stand as per protocol (except President and person receiving award). That is why PM is sitting. Look at Rashtrapati Bhavan videos and learn. As for Advani ji – the entire reason of conferring the award at home is his age and sickness. If he could stand, he would have as well gone to Rashtrapati Bhavan. It is despicable, the lengths to which haters and bigots will go to create a controversy.” 

It is pertinent to note that in numerous other pictures taken before and after the felicitation, President Murmu, PM Modi, and LK Advani are seen seated, with the exception being the one specific image captured during the felicitation.

Apart from President and Prime Minister, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, and former Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu were also present on this occasion.

A day earlier, President Droupadi Murmu conferred Bharat Ratna on four eminent personalities, including two former Prime Ministers, Chaudhary Charan Singh and PV Narasimha Rao. Former Bihar Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur and agronomist MS Swaminathan were also conferred with the country’s highest civilian award.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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