Asha Parekh and Nitin Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari claims that veteran actress Asha Parekh lobbied him for Padma BhushanVarinder Chawla/Reuters

In a shocking revelation, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that veteran actress Asha Parekh and many others chased him for Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award. However, the "Kati Patang" actress has denied Gadkari's claim.

Gadkari made the startling revelation during an event in Nagpur. He said that giving out Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri has become a 'headache' now.

Gadkari said that Parekh climbed up 12 floors to request him to recommend her name for Padma Bhushan as she has not received one. Gadkari further said that Parekh told him that she deserves to get the third highest civilian award because of her contribution to the film industry.

"For Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan recommendations I received so many letters. I have sent around thousand recommendations until now for the awards," the minister said.

"One Bollywood actress met me, she has turned old... Asha Parekh. She came to meet me in Mumbai. The lift to my residence was not working, she climbed up 12 floors. I asked her why she took the trouble, she said I have received Padmashree, Nitinji, now I want Padma Bhushan. I said you have received a Padmashree, it is like Padma Bhushan. She said no," he added.

After Gadkari's revelation, Parekh told a news channel that the claim is not true and she never lobbied for the award.

"I never lobbied for Padma Bhushan award. I don't want to say anything more than this," Parekh told a news channel.

The 73-year-old actress, who has worked in more than 90 films, was honoured with the Padmashree in 1992. She was one of the leading actresses in the 1960s.

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